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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning to consumers following a report stating there’s been a 587% increase in QR phishing or “quishing.”

Cybercriminals could cover up real QR codes with their own that send scanners to phony websites that will then steal personal information and install malware.

The fake codes can be found in public places, including parking meters, or can be sent via texts or emails, claiming there’s been suspicious activity on an account, or issue delivering a package.

“They want you to scan the QR code and open the URL without thinking about it,” the FTC warned.

QrCode Phishing Glossary 1 FTC Warns About Increased QR Code Scams

In order to protect themselves, the FTC advised consumers to inspect URLs before opening them, making sure they don’t have misspellings or swapped letters.

It also recommended not opening QR codes for unexpected communications, including urgent messages indicating an issue with an account.

Additionally, they recommended keeping phones up to date, and activating two-factor authentication.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also urged consumers to be skeptical and “suspicious” of QR codes that request login information after scanning. It also cautioned against scanning codes that seem “tampered with.”

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