QR Code Scams: Are You at Risk?

By Mitch Carter, Oobeo

Recently we have seen a number of articles surrounding the use of fake QR codes that result in a loss or parking revenue for parking operators. Oobeo wanted to take a minute to address those security concerns.

Overall, QR codes are a safe and efficient way to pay for parking, they provide for a quick and seamless transaction, so you can be on your way. BUT here are a few things you can do to avoid fraud:

– Offer multiple options
Afraid QR codes will scare parkers away? Add a second option, like text to pay, to provide your parkers with an additional, secure parking payment option. Use a text to pay program that specifically provides a payment link directly from a shortcode, which is recognized by cellular networks to be from a known provider, and is much more difficult for scammers to circumvent.

– Brand Recognition
When scanning the QR code, does the landing page match the brand associated with the parking operator? Pairing this branding, with the secure site URL including HTTPS, is a quick way to determine if the page you have landed on is secure, and safe to use, or not.

– Daily Monitoring
Have you noticed a sudden decrease in parking volume? Make sure to check average number of transactions to catch fraud before it’s too late.

– Maintenance and In-Field Audits
Regularly check your signs to make sure there has been nothing added to them. Look for things like added layers over QR codes, and mismatched graphics. Consider adding additional security to the signs, watermarks, holograms and business logos embedded in the QR code are a surefire way to determine if the QR is legitimate or not.


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