Pensioner was duped out of thousands of pounds and had her details changed.
QR fraud is on the rise in the UK.
More than half a billion pounds was lost to all fraud over the first half of the year.
A pensioner was scammed out of £13,000 after she used a fake QR code at a train station.
The victim, 71, scanned a code which the fraudsters had placed at a car park in Thornaby Station in Teeside.
The pensioner’s bank initially blocked the transactions, but the gang posing as bank staff were able to convince the victim over the phone, and within minutes they had taken out a £7,500 loan, the BBC reported.
After altering her bank details, including her address, the scammers also set up an online account in the woman’s name.
The unnamed victim revealed her distress over the scam, stating that she had never used a QR code before and would not do it again.
She said: "I can't believe I fell for it. I've had so many sleepless nights and spent hours and hours speaking to my bank and credit card company trying to sort it all.
"I was locked out of my accounts. Luckily I had another credit card to survive on, but without that and help from my son, I don't know how I would have coped."
A spokeswoman from VirginMoney confirmed to the BBC the loan was cancelled and all fraudulent transactions were refunded.
The scammers got away with £4,700, but the bank blocked their other transactions.
To protect the victim from future scams, enhanced security controls were put in place on her accounts, the spokeswoman added.
Scam warning: Gaza crisis appeals used to trick victims (Yahoo News UK)
Revealed: The most convincing scams of 2023 so far (Yahoo Finance)
Action Fraud said over 400 offences related to fake QR codes were recorded in the first nine months of 2023, as opposed to only 112 in 2020.
In September, rail operator TransPennine Express ceased using QR codes at all its car parks, including Thornaby Station, due to reports of similar scams at other stations.
Be cautious when scanning QR codes
Banking trade association UK Finance recommends several measures to avoid falling prey to QR code scams.
Customers should be cautious when scanning QR codes from unknown sources and if you are unsure whether a website QR code is real, try searching for it in your browser instead.
Ensure you have the latest security features on your phone which can help prevent malware from fake codes being downloaded onto your phone.
QR code scams can trick people into downloading malware, resulting in the loss of sensitive personal information.
Contact your bank and Action Fraud immediately if you suspect you have fallen for a scam.
Half a billion lost to fraud in six months
More than half a billion pounds was lost to fraud in the UK over the first half of the year, while the number of authorised scams jumped by more than a fifth, according to data.
Criminals stole £580 million through authorised and unauthorised fraud over the first six months of 2023, UK Finance revealed.
But the hefty sum was about 2% lower than the amount lost during the same period last year.
Authorised push payment (APP) fraud cases – when people are tricked into authorising a fraudulent payment – increased by 22% over the period, compared to last year.
Some £293 million was lost to the type of fraud, consisting primarily of personal losses, almost level with the year before.
Banking firms forked out around £153 million to reimburse victims of APP fraud, which amounts to nearly two thirds of the total sum lost, and more than the amount returned a year ago.