New Parking QR Scam

Look out for this latest parking scam that aims to steal your card details by using fake QR codes.

These QR codes - a type of barcode that can be read by a phone camera – have become ever more popular in car parks today.

Scammers have now started to exploit this technology by sticking fake QR codes directly on top of real QR codes. Unsuspecting victims that are looking to pay for their parking are then scanning these fake QR codes and making payment directly to the scammers.

We’ve put together a few tips to help keep you safe when paying for parking;

1. Look for evidence of tampering

Before scanning a QR code on a parking metre or machine, check to see if the code appears on a sticker that has been placed over another code. If you can peel a QR code sticker off, be wary as this may suggest it is fake.

If the QR code is located somewhere other than on the actual metre or machine, it may also indicate it is fake.

The design of the QR code should match the business’s branding. If the branding or logo appears to be different, be suspicious.

2. Pay Attention to the Website

Ensure the QR code takes you to a legitimate website. Check the URL and ensure it matches the name of the parking facility. Look out that the website starts with ‘https://’ at the beginning for the URL, taking extra care to check if the ‘s’ is present as this designates that a site is secure.

If the URL has been shortened or you can’t tell if you’ve been directed to a legitimate parking provider, look to pay the parking by an alternative method.

3. Parking Apps

If the car park makes use of a specific parking payment app, consider downloading this directly from your app store rather than using the QR code provided.

4. Seek Assistance

If you discover you are the victim of a QR code scam, contact your bank at the earliest opportunity. This will not only prevent any further fraudulent charges being made on your card but also allows you to check to see if you are eligible for any refund.

Make sure you report scams and fraud to Action Fraud.

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