Posted on behalf of West Mercia Police – Economic Crime Unit.


QR Codes have been around for several decades now but have become more prominent in the last few years. So once again criminals are seizing the opportunity to use malicious QR Codes to steal money, and personal information.

People may sometimes worry about trusting these codes which are now common in public places, such as pubs and restaurants, and these are generally safe to scan.

The majority of QR code scams so far have been in open spaces such as stations and car park machines, so always check the QR code sign to see if appears to have been tampered with or has another label stuck on top of it.

However, QR codes are now appearing in greater numbers in phishing emails, often now called “Quishing”. Criminals realise that the public are now more aware of the dangers on clicking on links in unsolicited emails, so are using QR codes instead to direct the recipient to a malicious website.

Also, security software created to detect phishing emails does not always scan images so a QR code image can get through. Many users also use their mobile phone to scan a QR code and such devices may not always have the same levels of security protection. It is always advisable to use the QR Code scanner that is already installed on your phone, rather than one downloaded from an App store.

As ever, be vigilant, especially with QR codes received in emails.

Please feel free to share this information with any family, friends, or neighbours you think it may be able to assist

Take Five to Stop Fraud

STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud

•    Avoid disclosing security details
•    Emails, Phone Calls and Texts may not be authentic
•    Always make direct contact with any organisation by using a genuine phone number
•    Stop and Challenge any unexpected requests
•    Protect others by reporting Fraud and Scams
If you’ve fallen for a scam,
report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk

Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.

Forward Fake Emails received to report@phishing.gov.uk

If you think your bank account or personal banking details have been used fraudulently, then use the short phone number – 159 – to contact the Fraud Prevention Department of most major UK banks