For most people, 2020 was the year that never happened. Covid-19 has dramatically changed the landscape of societies and organisations, how we do things on a daily basis, and how we work. Since working from home became the new normal, scammers have adapted to the shift in work and personal environment and have introduced new methods of scamming.
In Australia more than 5,000 people have been targeted by scams related to Covid-19. The scammers have been exploiting the QR code system put in place for contact tracing, in order to gather information on citizens who use it to sign into restaurants or shops. Once the contact information of a person is collected, the scammers will call and pretend to be a government agency requesting personal information for contact tracing purposes.
The weakness of QR codes
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned Australian citizens and businesses that setting up independent QR code systems, or using QR code systems from third parties, can be very risky. This is because the information recorded by these systems will not be within the Australian jurisdiction, should data be breached or stolen. Another concern the ACCC has pointed out is the privacy policies on how the data will be used once its collected – this is the most likely avenue of data theft.
Over 28 scams involving QR codes have been reported to the ACCC, with damages of over AU$100,000. The ACCC’s advice is to hang up on unknown numbers and report them to their site.
Contact us at Agilient for more information on how to protect your business and how to ensure your customer’s data is kept safe.
Author: Saeed Baayoun, Agilient Consultant