India’s top lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday, warned its customers about the scams. Online transactions like UPI payments, QR code scans have witnessed a massive surge amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the current situation, SBI has alerted customers not to scan QR Codes shared by anyone unless the objective is to pay.
“You don’t receive money when you scan a QR code. All you get is a message that your bank account is debited for an ‘X’ amount. Do not scan #QRCodes shared by anyone unless the objective is to pay. Stay alert,” SBI wrote in a tweet.
You don’t receive money when you scan a QR code. All you get is a message that your bank account is debited for an ‘X’ amount. Do not scan #QRCodes shared by anyone unless the objective is to pay. Stay alert. #StaySafe. https://t.co/EXGQB7YFT9#QRCodes #InternetBanking
— State Bank of India (@TheOfficialSBI) April 27, 2021
The top lender in its tweet also shared a two-and-a-half-minute video explaining a situation on how scanning a QR code will actually result in debiting money from your bank account.
QR codes have become an increasingly popular mode for fraudsters to cheat people and frauds related to online transactions has seen an unprecedented spike.
What is a QR code?
For the uninitiated, a QR code (Quick Response Code) consists of a number of black squares and dots which represent certain digital information. When a smartphone scans this code, it translates that information into something that can be easily understood by it.
How does a QR code scam take place?
Like every other scam, it is initiated after someone puts an item on an online sale website. During this process, fraudsters pose as buyers and share the QR code to pay an advance or token amount.
The fraudsters then create a QR code with a higher amount and share it with the intended victim through WhatsApp or email. They may also engage the victim in a conversation to confuse him or her.
1- Once the QR code is shared, the scammers then ask their victims to first select the “Scan QR code” option on the app and select the QR code from the photo gallery.
2- After scanning the QR code from the photo gallery, the victim is urged to proceed with the payment.
3- As soon as the UPI PIN is entered, money is deducted from the bank account of the victim.
In the video shared by the SBI, the bank has made it very clear that scanning a QR code is always done for making payments, and never for receiving. SBI has advised customers to hang up the call if they receive such requests.
Be extremely vigilant and cautious while carrying out online transactions (UPI payments, QR code scans).