Take caution when whipping out your phone to scan QR codes. It just might give your phone a virus or compromise your personal data. The first reported instance happened last year in Russia when consumers thought they were downloading an Android app. Instead, they unknowingly downloaded a type of virus called a premium rate number that charges consumers for each incoming text message.
According to the article reported by Mashable.com, it is much more difficult to set up these numbers in the US,” but cyberthieves will soon be able to create global premium rate numbers that could theoretically attack American consumers the same way.”
Good rules to follow to protect yourself:
- Only scan QR codes by a known vendor or advertiser
- Do not scan QR codes that are stickers
- If the code asks for information it shouldn’t need, exit the application