Home

Words, Words, Words

Don’t Be Fooled! QR Codes

I worked for over 30 years in the title insurance industry, working with real estate closings and insuring those closings. Our industry has always been aware of in-person fraud (read “Who Are You?” and “When Did I Sell My House” – the 2nd and 3rd “Title World Tales” stories – available now on Amazon at Title World Tales (3 book series) Paperback Edition (amazon.com) 😁).

Today, the title insurance industry is hyper aware of online scams because so much of the real estate transaction industry involves transferring money online. I signed up for various fraud alerts from federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and, periodically, I forward what I have learned to some of my family so that we can all be aware of them and avoid them.

Back in August of 2022, I emailed a warning from the Florida Land Title Association’s Cyber Security Committee about scams involving QR Codes. Here is the link to the article: FLTA – Cyber Security Tips. Go to Cyber Security Tip #3 (although all of the tips are good to read).

Even though I knew to be careful, what did I do? I fell for one!! And I almost fell for another! Geez! Here are my stories.

In September of 2023, I was staying at a hotel where I was scheduled to present a couple of seminars. I found out that room service was ordered by clicking on a QR code, shown on a printed document in my hotel room. Okay. Got it.

I clicked on the QR code. It took me to a site that asked me for my credit card number. I thought that was weird, as I had already checked in and expected to charge the room service costs to the CC that I had given the front desk folks. But, being tired and not really focused, I input a CC number. When I clicked Continue, I was led to a site that had NOTHING to do with the room service menu!!! OH, @#$$%!

I saw an X in the top right corner and clicked on that. Guess what appeared? The hotel’s room service menu!!

Yowza! The fake / fraudulent embedded site had been overlayed on top of the real hotel’s website. Oh, no.

When I got home, I checked my CC charges every day. Nothing, until about 6 days later, 3 charges appeared – not mine. I immediately contacted my CC company to cancel my CC. I should have contacted them ASAP. I might have been able to prevent some loss for my bank. Unfortunately for these lenders (but fortunately for us), they are VERY used to fraudulent use of credit cards and canceling a CC has become routine for them, I am sad to say. Sigh . . .

THEN, a few months later, the same thing happened to me, BUT I was now focused on being suspicious of “weird” looking links from hotel rooms. I simply clicked on the X at the top right and ended up with the hotel’s real website.

BE CAREFUL! DO NOT BE FOOLED!

Read More

From The Blog

Clever “Gadgets”

June 4, 2024
Posted in ,

In the past few months, as I walked around the neighborhoods near mine, I have seen some amazingly clever “gadgets.” Before I describe those inventions,…

Read More

Clever “Gadgets”

June 4, 2024
Posted in ,

In the past few months, as I walked around the neighborhoods near mine, I have seen some amazingly clever “gadgets.” Before I describe those inventions,…

Read More

Don’t Be Fooled! QR Codes

April 2, 2024
Posted in ,

I worked for over 30 years in the title insurance industry, working with real estate closings and insuring those closings. Our industry has always been…

Read More

Persuasive Communication™ Training

Do you have a lot of thoughts but can’t seem to put them together? As the “Thought Connector,” Dr. Burke will help you organize your thoughts to best convey your message to your customers or clients.

Upcoming Events

June 14, 2023 - Presenting the 5th of 6 webinars for NALA, called "Real Estate Complications"

July 19-20 / August 1-2 / August 9-10, 2023 - Speaking for Fidelity National Title's National Escrow group about "Closing Concerns"

October 10, 2023 - Presenting a webinar for the Central Florida Paralegal Association about "Cyber Security Ethics"

November 6-8, 2023 - Attending the Florida Land Title Association's annual convention in Orlando

Contact me if you'd like me to give any of these talks to your company!