On the last day of the year, a new online scam has surfaced which is trapping many innocent people. On January 16, the inauguration ceremony for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will begin, with the consecration of Ram Lalla scheduled for January 22. Ahead of the big event, some bad actors are asking people for donations by pretending to be representatives of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, the trust constituted to look after the construction and management of the Ram Mandir. These scammers are pulling off a QR code scam where they share a fake QR code to transfer the money to their own accounts.
Raising awareness about the QR code scam, the spokesperson of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Vinod Bansal took to X, where he posted about this dangerous scam. He said, “Beware! Some people are trying to cheat money by making fake IDs in the name of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra. @HMOIndia @CPDelhi @dgpup @Uppolice should take immediate action against such people. @ShriRamTeerth has not authorized anybody to collect funds for this occasion” (roughly translated).
QR code scam targets devotees
Bansal also shared screenshots of such QR codes that were being shared on social media platforms such as Facebook by fake pages pretending to be part of the official trust. But upon scanning the code, you can see the name of the account holder is completely different than what the scammers claimed on their posts.
The VHP leader revealed that the organization has filed a formal complaint with the Director General and Inspector General of Police in UP. He said that he hoped the authorities would “take immediate steps in the matter of faith”.
The official complaint mentioned, “A miscreant by the name of Abhishek Kumar is seeking funds for Ayodhya Temple Development and using social media to spread such false information. He has posted the UPI QR codes in Facebook groups with the line “Ram mandir Ayodhya Chanda pradarshan karen”. On scanning the QR code, UPI will direct the user to the UPI ID with the name Manisha Nallabelly”.
How to avoid QR code scams
1. Never scan a QR code from social media platforms or somewhere random on the internet. Always verify the antecedents.
2. Whenever you scan a QR code through a UPI app, always make sure to check the name of the account holder.
3. If the name appears to be suspicious or incorrect, either reach out to the person you’re trying to transfer funds or the official organization.
4. Do not even scan such codes for fun. They may contain spyware or malware which can spread into your device even without you initiating a transaction.
5. Always report such fraudulent posts so the platform can quickly take them down and others can be saved from falling for such scams.