SINGAPORE – A newly formed payment council, set up to look into ways to advance e-payments in Singapore, has created a taskforce specifically to develop a common QR code for Singapore (SGQR) that could be used for e-payments island wide.
China has already had theirs in the market. Even buying food doesn’t need cash, just a simple scanning of a QR code would complete the transaction. However, scammers started to exploit these codes by affixing their QR code on top of hawkers’ QR codes, resulting in all their hard earned money going into the suspect’s pockets.
Two men went to a counter of a restaurant and deliberately used a phone to block the public’s view, hastily replacing the store’s QR code to their own.
The victim said: “It was busy, so I didn’t notice, a closer look will reveal a small layer on top of the original QR code.” The victim’s code has been successfully stolen.
Chinese police said: “This is a new type of theft. If a business accepts QR code payment, the code cannot just determine the customer’s mobile information, they must determine from their own account page, whether they really received any money. ”
Suspects often find crowded shops with a QR code placed on the counter of the store, like shopping streets, food streets, drink shops. With their agility, they can paste QR codes within a few seconds.
Chinese police said: “In the process of investigation, we have found that the suspect has moved through four provinces and cities nationwide, including Guangxi, Guizhou, Guangdong, Foshan and then finally being arrested at Hunan. They used the same trick and stole more than 320 cases, amounting to nearly S$20 million.
Advice: Do not paste your QR code outside the store or in front of the counter. You should treat the QR code as your cashier, lock it when not in use.