According to a ZenGO report, four of the top five Google search results for things like Bitcoin QR Generator have led to fraudulent websites.
Instead of generating new addresses for the consumer wallet, these QR codes lead back to the fraudster’s Bitcoin wallet, with the idea of stealing victims’ coins. The report highlights QR codes as a particularly malicious method for scammers to target crypto portfolios, as users cannot distinguish between addresses. According to the report:
These sites generate a QR code that encodes a fraudulent-controlled address instead of the one requested by the user, thus directing all payments for that QR code to the fraudsters.
Fraudsters don’t even bother to generate fake QR codes on their own, instead they shamelessly call the blockchain explorer API to generate QR for their address.
ZenGO reports fraud costs consumers $ 20,000 / average on BTC. The company recommends that users avoid google for QR code generators and use a trusted blockchain researcher instead. They also recommend that you confirm the address of the QR code before sharing it with others.