• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Fraudsters now exploit QR codes, NITDA warns

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned that fraudsters are now exploiting QR codes to deceive unsuspecting users.

The agency noted that QR codes’ speed and convenience in accessing information and taking action have made them a tool exploited by scammers for fraudulent activities.

Read also: NITDA warns Nigerians of malware spread on Facebook

These fraud players use these codes for phishing scams, payment fraud, data theft, and identity theft. The implications of these codes on users vary depending on the approach taken by the scammer, NITDA said.

It explained: “Phishing scammers can generate QR codes that point to malicious applications or phishing websites. Users scan these codes thinking they are genuine and end up having their information stolen.

“Scammers can create QR codes that start illicit transactions or reroute payments to their accounts rather than to the intended recipients. Threat actors may embed malicious payloads like malware or data-stealing scripts within QR codes. By exploiting security vulnerabilities in users’ devices, they can steal private documents, financial information, and passwords among other sensitive data.

“Users’ personal information, including names, addresses, and contact details, can be collected using QR codes inserted in fake advertisements or online surveys. This information can then be exploited for identity theft or other targeted frauds.”

The agency asked users to be wary of scanning QR codes as a precaution and to only use reputable QR code scanning apps with built-in security features. It also stated that regularly updating one’s device with the latest antivirus software and security patches would help guard against these fraud actors.