Malaga police warn of QR code scams

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Malaga police warn of QR code scams
Malaga police warn of QR code scams. Image - Pixabay

The National Police in Malaga has released tips on how to avoid QR code scams.

Following the National Police in Malaga warning of QR code scams, they have now released tips on how to avoid becoming a victim. In recent weeks, the media have also echoed this warning.

Although the National Police in Malaga affirm that they have not detected a specific case of these scams in the province or in Malaga capital, they indicate that they are aware that it is a practice that is carried out.

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Fraudulent activities that cyber criminals carry out through QR codes, which are similar to bar codes, have existed for years. However, there has been a boom in their use during the months of the coronavirus pandemic when they have been used in places such as restaurants, airports, concerts and theatres.

The National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE) lists the risks to which we can expose ourselves when scanning a QR. These are possible cases of phishing, the download of malware or malicious code injection, and qrljacking or session hijacking.

If you haven’t heard this last term before, qrljacking consists of hijacking an account that accepts a login via QR scanning. This is, for example, the case of WhatsApp Web. To be able to log in to a tab of our browser, we scan a code from our smartphone and the session starts automatically.


Cybercriminals are tricking victims into scanning a code that impersonates the original, and by doing so, they capture the victim’s session credentials and covertly access information within their account.

Tips and recommendations to avoid as much as possible being the victim of an attack through a QR code:

  • Have an antivirus or antimalware installed on devices.
  • Be wary of the supposed gifts, promotions and offers accessed by scanning a QR code.
  • Make sure that a QR code has not been pasted on top of another.
  • Configure QR code readers so that it cannot directly access the URL before entering it and make sure it is a website that can be trusted.
  • Don’t allow direct file downloads when scanning a QR code.
  • If you have a business and you are going to offer a QR to your clients, use a generator of this service that offers all the security guarantees and frequently check that it has not been modified or changed by third parties.

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Laura is from a small seaside town in North Wales and has also lived in Liverpool and Manchester, where she studied English Literature and worked in social media and marketing. Laura moved to the city of Zaragoza last August to teach English, but after missing the coast she decided to move to beautiful Nerja to enjoy the sun and sea. Laura has a passion for animals, films, outdoor activities, writing and the environment.

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