An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: 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 fake QR codes reportedly directed people to a “Quick Pay Parking” website at the domain passportlab.xyz, which is now offline. It’s not clear how many people — if any — were tricked into paying the fraudsters. “We don’t use QR codes at all for this very reason, because they are easy to fake or place on the devices,” Austin parking division manager Jason Redfern told KXAN. “And we heard from industry leaders that this would be a possibility.” Austin accepts payments directly at the meter with coins or credit or with the Park ATX mobile payment app. […] Houston officials found five meters with fake QR codes and removed the stickers, according to KPRC 2. While the scam seems to have been centered in Texas, it could be repeated anywhere. If you see a QR code on a parking meter, ignore it and make sure you pay the city directly.