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Security warning for England fans heading to pubs to watch Euro 2024 quarter-finals

Security warning for England fans heading to pubs to watch Euro 2024 quarter-finals

Experts have warned there has been a worrying spike in 'quishing' scams and drunken footie fans are prime candidates to get stung by one

Win or lose, we're on the booze - but make sure to keep your wits about you while you're watching the Three Lions in your local for the quarter-finals this weekend.

Brits have been urged to be vigilant after a host of reports that shameless scammers are trying to take advantage of punters knocking back the pints while watching England battle it out in the Euros.

When you're three sheets to the wind and celebrating the work of Gareth Southgate's boys, it's easy to not pay attention to what you're doing - as let's have it right, there's more important things at hand.

I mean, just imagine missing Jude Bellingham's bicycle kick on Sunday (30 June) for the sake of sorting out your Apple Pay at the bar. You just can't get that moment back.

But still, you need to make sure you're on your guard when you head out to watch the lads take on Switzerland this Saturday (6 July).

When the quarter-finals are getting underway, just make sure you're not accidentally falling for a bogus QR code which has been stuck over a legitimate one in whatever UK pub you're watching the game in.

Football fans have been urged to triple check that they are using the right 'Quick Response' code and that it is taking them to the correct web page, as cunning con artists have noticed there is a gap in the market here.

Table-service has remained the norm in some establishments after Covid, and scanning a QR codes to order a round at least saves you wading through the mobs of people at the bar while trying not to spill your drinks.

However, although you might think you are simply ordering a few bevvies as England are booting the ball around, you could actually be unknowingly handing over your personal details to crooks.

England fans have been warned to be wary in boozers ahead of the quarter-finals this weekend (Getty Stock Photo)
England fans have been warned to be wary in boozers ahead of the quarter-finals this weekend (Getty Stock Photo)

Scammers have been replacing QR codes in boozers with their own versions of them, which instead send customers to a malicious website in a swindle that's been dubbed 'quishing'.

This shakedown is typically designed to either install malware on a device, or to steal their banking information by pretending to take their order - but according to reports, it's also cropping up in car parks and on street posters too.

According to John Clark, who is product manager at takepayments, there has been a spike in quishing scams of late and it hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.

He told Metro: "Unfortunately, we’ve seen a rise in scams ever since self-ordering became the norm during the pandemic.

"It’s important to stay vigilant when using a QR code to pay for your drinks at the pub."

NordVPN also told the outlet that a whopping 72 percent of Brits admit to not checking QR codes before scanning them, which is quite worrying considering 77 percent of us actively use them.

It explained that more than three million people claim to have been previously sent to a dodgy website which they thought was untrustworthy after using a QR code.

The QR code scam has been dubbed 'quishing' (Getty Stock Photo)
The QR code scam has been dubbed 'quishing' (Getty Stock Photo)

One in six of the people (16 percent) who ended up on a suspicious website fell victim to a cyber scam and ended up intentionally handing over their personal data.

NordVPN's chief technology officer Marijus Briedis said although QR codes have become 'indispensable' in pubs and restaurants, customers should not 'blindly trust' them.

He warned that they can 'inadvertently expose users to cyber scams', adding: "It’s vital to approach them with caution and awareness of potential risks."

Briedis advised people to use a QR code scanning app instead of just your camera to rustle up the link, as it adds an extra degree of security because they can often detect malicious sites or software.

Make sure you see the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certification on the site you have been taken to and double check that the URL starts with ‘https://’.

Other ways to confirm you're using a legitimate link include making sure there is a padlock icon next to the URL and confirming that the name of the website matches the name of the place you are in.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Football, Sport, Technology, UK News, Euro 2024, Money