QR Code Scams: What To Know Before You Scan That Little Box

Scammers are using these ubiquitous codes to steal your information, according to a new report.

Illustration of a scan-me icon with a QR code on a white background.
(Image credit: Nataliia Prachova, Getty Images)

QR codes emerged as a popular tool during the COVID-19 pandemic in restaurants, to pay for items and exchange funds, and even to board a flight. Our smartphones are equipped with technology to scan these codes, making them easy to use — as well as manipulate.

According to a recent  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, scammers have taken to using these seemingly harmless QR codes in “countless” ways to obtain information from unsuspecting victims by inserting harmful links inside them.

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Jamie Feldman

Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.