Payment Fraud Moves to the Real World with Fake QR Codes on Parking Meters



Scammers are using the professional-looking stickers to point those parking to an alternate pay site to collect credit card details in the perfect situation where victims would be none the wiser.

This is a pretty slick scam – you park your car, don’t have enough change, see the “Pay Here” QR Code, scan it, and are taking to the friendly-looking parking payment website. You’d obviously pay without hesitation. But according to Austin Police, this parking meter scam popped up beginning in December and appears to be continuing its’ paces.

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Source: Austin Police Department

In one way, this is the ultimate impersonation scam – the scammer gets the legitimacy bump from the parking meter itself! The closest we have to this in the world of cyberattacks is when vendor email compromise takes place and a malicious email is sent from the hijacked account.

What’s also concerning about this kind of scam is that scams are moving from online into the real world. You could see this happening, for example, outside a major department store with a sign promoting a giveaway using a QR code pointing to a brand-impersonated site.

But, because these scams tie back to online habits, the good news is proper Security Awareness Training can be put into practice, teaching users to always be mindful and vigilant whenever payments, credentials, or personal details are involved online.


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