Scammers put fake QR codes on parking meters to intercept parkers’ payments

Illustration of a parking meter and a warning not to scan any QR codes on meters.

Enlarge / Image from the City of Austin’s warning to ignore QR code stickers on parking meters. (credit: City of Austin)

Scammers in a few big Texas cities have been putting fake QR codes on parking meters to trick people into paying the fraudsters. Parking enforcement officers recently found stickers with fraudulent QR codes on pay stations in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

San Antonio police warned the public of the scam on December 20, saying that “people attempting to pay for parking using those QR codes may have been directed to a fraudulent website and submitted payment to a fraudulent vendor.” Similar scams were then found in Austin and Houston.

The Austin Transportation Department started examining their own meters after being “notified of a QR code scam by the City of San Antonio in late December—when more than 100 pay stations were stickered with fraudulent codes,” Fox 7 Austin reported last week. Austin officials checked the city’s 900 or so parking pay stations and found fraudulent QR codes on 29 of them, according to a KXAN article.

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