HOUSTON - QR codes became wildly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We use them in place of menus, to shop, and even to park but following a recent rise in targeted scams city officials are warning against using them when parking your car in downtown Houston.
"We have about 900 plus pay stations," Maria Irshad with Park Houston says. "We ended up finding about 10 of those QR codes that were directing customers to that fraudulent payment site."
Cybersecurity experts say hackers are using fraudulent sites to store people's banking information or install dangerous malware on devices.
"The QR code will send the user of the device to a website that then asks for information like payment information or personal information that they then harvest and use for ill-gotten gains or nefarious purposes," Karim Hijazi explained.
Austin and San Antonio are also seeing examples of scams and warning drivers to be careful. The Better Business Bureau has found a reported 36 scams involving QR codes since March 2020.