In three major cities in the US state of Texas, fraudsters have apparently tried to lead people to fake payment websites by using QR codes stuck to parking machines. The San Antonio police first issued a warning about the stickers in late December; the QR codes were discovered on more than 100 machines there. After the warnings, the city of Austin checked its vending machines and discovered 29 QR code stickers. There were five cases in Houston.
The QR codes would have led to the URL www.passportlab.xyz/, reports ArsTechnica. There, a portal called “Quick Pay Parking” was lurking for the unsuspecting. Presumably, the victims were to be tempted to make a credit card payment. The page is no longer accessible. Whether people fell for the codes and how much the scam could have brought in remained open.
None of the companies responsible for parking fees use QR codes for payment processing, according to all three cities. “We had spoken to experts who warned us about QR codes, and that’s why we don’t use any in our infrastructure,” said the Austin operators to Fox7. It is too easy to fake and place codes.