Our lives are now more straightforward thanks to UPI and other digital transaction methods. Users can start money transfers to any bank account in seconds, just like sending an SMS or communicating through instant messaging apps. Online banking and digital payments are simpler, faster, and even safer. On the other hand, it has also led to an increase in online fraud. Cyber scams have considerably expanded over the past few years thanks to phishing links, sim swaps, vishing calls, and other methods. People are being duped and defrauded by scammers in innovative ways. The QR code scam is one such scam that has been around for a while but continues to con people.

According to reports, many people are duped by fraudsters utilizing QR codes to clear out their bank accounts. Even the India Today Tech crew saw a situation when someone requested to transmit money using a QR code in an attempt to deceive them. As a result, when one of our team members placed a product on OLX, a buyer agreed to pay the specified price for it. The user instantly requested the UPI ID and bank account to start the payment procedure in order to move the transaction along. It was already suspicious because he neither came to see the item in person nor did he try to make a deal.

The fact that he demanded to scan a QR code he gave through WhatsApp with the amount written on it in order to collect payment sent off the alarm. In the meantime, he kept calling and sending messages to urge the procedure to be finished quickly.

Although utilizing a QR code to send money is neither novel nor problematic, the sender in this case required the recipient to scan the code and input an OTP in order to receive the funds. Fortunately, one of our team members recognized that it was a scam because a lot of innocent individuals frequently fell for it.

So, what precisely is QR code fraud, and how do funds disappear when we regularly scan QR codes to give money?

A QR code scam definition

Therefore, these con artists try to trick individuals into believing they are handing them money via QR code. Additionally, the recipient must scan the code, input the desired amount, and then enter the OTP. It should be noted that a QR code can only be scanned to pay money, not to receive it. Therefore, the money is taken out of the sender's account rather than the recipient's when someone scans someone else's QR code under the guise of receiving money and enters an OTP.

And in this scenario, the repeated phoning that occurs when one of your team members is involved frequently deceives individuals, who don't hesitate to assess the circumstance. They fall prey to fraud because they overlook the warning signs and red flags.

Following are some crucial things to remember in order to prevent this type of fraud:

  1. Never divulge your UPI ID or bank account information to strangers.
  2. Whether at all possible, if you're selling something on OLX or another website, you deal in cash.
  3. If you are receiving money, you should never ever scan a QR code.
  4. Always double-check the information displayed by the QR code scanner, even if you are transmitting money.
  5. If a QR code resembles a sticker covering another QR code, avoid scanning it.
  6. Never divulge your OTP to anyone. OTPs should be handled with confidentiality because that is what they are.
  7. If you are buying or selling anything on an internet platform, make sure the individual is who they claim to be.
  8. If possible, try to avoid sharing your mobile phone number as well.
  9. Use a digital escrow service like Vouch to avoid getting scammed.

Digital escrow service in India

Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process. 

There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free.

Check back here to learn more about Escrow and how to protect yourself from fraud.


Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!

As you're now aware of the importance of online safety, let's get your transactions secure on Vouch. It's just a click away.