SINGAPORE: A scammer in Malaysia has taken a grift to the next level by covering over the payment QR code of a restaurant with a sticker that had another QR code, one that would lead to payments to his account.

A woman who goes by Yingzz Lim Dkj on Facebook wrote about the scam in a Nov 26 post, warning business owners in Seremban of the fraudster’s modus operandi. The woman wrote that the scammer took advantage of a particularly busy time at the F & B joint, pasting a sticker on the QR code when everyone was too occupied to pay attention.

“He took advantage of people’s busy schedule and put his own touch & go QR Code, sticking it on the merchant’s QR Code,” she wrote in Chinese. She also posted a photo of the sticker that had been placed over the official QR code.

Malaysian news sites reported that the man had done this while paying for his order, and after that, he quietly left. But because his con had gone unnoticed, several customers used the false QR code and made payments in the scammer’s e-wallet instead of going toward their bill at the eatery.

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Yingzz Lim Dkj further warned business owners that the scammer could have 100 such stickers in his possession, meaning 100 establishments could get scammed.

To make matters worse, the CCTV was unfortunately not working when the man put the sticker over the QR code. However, Yingzz Lim Dkj, who was interviewed by the press, said that the identity of the 53-year-old scammer is known to the eatery owners.

Scams have proliferated this year, and many fraudsters have gotten increasingly clever at their grift, taking advantage of digital means of stealing from other people.

A recent report has shown that US$1.02 trillion (S$1.4 trillion) is lost annually around the globe through scams, with one out of every four persons getting victimized. This is equivalent to 1.05 per cent of the global GDP. Interestingly, on average, victims in Singapore have lost the most money.

The most common type of scam is shopping scams (27 per cent), followed by identity theft and investment fraud. Scammers’ most popular way to reach victims is through phone calls (61 per cent), followed by SMS/Text Messages (58 per cent).

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Read also: Singaporeans Hit Hardest by Global Scams, Losing Over US$4,000 Per Victim /TISG