The FBI says cybercriminals are trying to steal your financial information through QR codes.

QR codes have become increasingly more popular during the pandemic thanks to their ability to offer touch-free menus at restaurants and bars– but it’s the latest way cybercriminals are targeting your information.

QR codes are bar codes you can scan right on your phone to launch a website.

Scammers are using fraudulent QR codes to direct people to malicious sites in order to steal your personal information.

Cybersecurity experts say you should check the websites that QR codes direct you to carefully.

Only input your personal information if you’ve checked the source thoroughly. 

So how can you protect yourself?

“It’s so difficult for a human to tell a fake QR code from a normal QR code,” said Victor Wieczorek, VP of Application Security and Threat Attack Simulation at GuidePoint Security.

“It’s hard for us to distinguish between the two but I think there are some things that we can look for, right? If there’s some sticker across the menu that looks like it was slapped on there or put there temporarily, that’s certainly a warning sign something that people should look out for.”

The FBI says QR codes themselves are not malicious but the ease with which criminals can create their own fake codes is a growing concern. 

They say it’s important to only visit sites you can trust and verify before sharing your information.