Always Scanning QR Codes? Here’s One Thing You Have To Look Out For


The world today has evolved into a technology-integrated planet.

Our lives are starting to get more convenient and simple.

We can now go cashless and still live just fine (maybe even better).

Image:Meme Gen

I always felt like I was the coolest person on the planet when I paid via ApplePay at Subway while the person beside me is scrambling for his coins.

This is thanks to the fact that almost everything is connected to our phone.

Our bank cards, email, car…heck we can even control our living room lighting using the device!

Talking about cashless, although Singapore may be lagging behind China, we do see a rise of electronic paying systems.

One most commonly seen method would be the scanning of quick response (QR) codes.

These black-and-white squares are used to find out information, track items, and also make payments.

All these activities can be carried out on our phones.

Image: Wikipedia

As I said, China tops the rank for being the most cashless economy.

It also faces quite a number of problems, according to Channel News Asia.

Some tricksters would go around sticking their own QR code over the merchants’.

According to Chinese news reports, US$13 million has been lost via QR code scams in Guangdong alone.

Back in the sunny island, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) revealed that SingCERT has yet to receive reports of such incidents.

The agency said that the cases happening overseas hold “important lessons” for Singapore.


Will QR code scams happen in SG?

According to Cybersecurity experts, one key weakness of QR codes is that it is impossible to visually differentiate between real and fake QR codes.

CSA said that as of now, such trickery is the only known form.


Being vigilant

Merchants who use Liquid Group and FOMO Pay get real-time updates from each successful transaction.

“The consumer can also see the e-receipt in their e-wallet. (They can) immediately (see) the amount being paid and the merchant being paid to,” according to Zack Yang, the chief operating officer of FOMO Pay.


Certis Cisco’s chief information security officer John Yong warned that money may not be the only thing that gets stolen.

When there’s a middleman in-between the transaction, the confidential information found on your phone can be hijacked.


They can then use this info to complete transactions in the future without you knowing.

Chief Technology Officer of Liquid Group, Mr Quinlan, said that transactions can only be carried out if customers scan using their app.

Mr Quinlan added, “If you can use a generic scanner to scan our QR code, it won’t do any good … (All you see is) a random set of characters that are meaningless outside of our application and our back-end.”

CSA recommended using a secure QR code reader that allows URL previews so users can assess whether that is a trusted site.


Some QR code readers also have built-in security readers that check a website’s safety rating and block malicious ones.

If you are prompted to give your personal information, it is obvious that it is a fake. Consumers should refrain from giving out their details.

Since you’re here, why not watch a video about an NTU student who went all out to impress his crush, only to end up in…tragedy? Here, watch it and do remember to share it (and also subscribe to Goody Feed YouTube channel)!

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