How to Protect Against New Types of Scams Like QR Phishing

Four in ten Americans say they use peer-to-peer payment services, like Venmo, PayPal, or Apple Pay, at least once a month. These platforms have made it even easier to send money by adding QR codes that people can quickly scan to pull up someone’s profile and complete a payment. Two-thirds of restaurants have started including QR codes on tables to access menus. Scanning QR codes has become a normal, convenient way to exchange money or information. 

Unfortunately, scammers are always looking for ways to take advantage of moments when people are primed to part with their money. The Federal Trade Commission is warning that scammers now use QR codes to hide harmful links to steal personal information. This new type of phishing attack, called “quishing,” highlights how scamming methods are constantly changing. In response, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an even more crucial part of defending against scammers. 

Fortify your defenses against new methods of attack 

To protect yourself against phishing attacks, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and employ proactive measures. Make sure to scrutinize all incoming emails, text messages, or social media communications for any signs of suspicious or unsolicited requests, especially those urging immediate action or requesting sensitive information.  

Avoid clicking links, downloading attachments, or scanning QR codes from unknown or untrusted sources. Check the legitimacy of the sender by cross-referencing contact information with official sources or contacting the organization directly through trusted channels. 

Before accepting where a QR code is going to take you, carefully examine the associated URL. Verify its authenticity by scrutinizing for any discrepancies, such as misspellings or altered characters, especially if it resembles a familiar URL. 

Safeguard your mobile device and accounts by regularly updating the operating system. Additionally, bolster the security of your online accounts by implementing robust passwords and integrating multi-factor authentication measures to thwart unauthorized access. 

Use AI to fight fire with fire 

As fraudsters continually evolve their tactics, distinguishing between what’s real and what’s fake becomes increasingly challenging. However, there is formidable technology available to safeguard against their schemes. AI can analyze vast amounts of data in real-time to detect patterns and anomalies indicative of fraudulent behavior. By continuously learning from new data and adapting algorithms, AI can stay ahead of evolving fraud tactics. 

The McAfee+ suite of identity and privacy protections uses AI for identity protection, transaction monitoring, credit monitoring, and proactive Scam Protection to keep you safe from even the most sophisticated scam attempts. Scam Protection employs AI technology to block risky sites, serving as a secondary defense against accidental clicks on spam links. This ensures that even after being tricked into clicking, your device won’t open the fraudulent site. 

Don’t leave your digital defenses to chance. See for yourself what advanced security looks like today. 

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