By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County residents are being encouraged to be cautious and not fall for a new parking scam involving their smart phone’s cameras.

Local law enforcement agencies are warning about a QR code scam that is working the rounds through the country. QR codes are the small, jumbled, barcode like-squares in which a smartphone user points their phone’s camera or QR-app at it, and is taken to a website on their mobile device. They are used in many ways such as to give more information about a product, view a restaurant’s menu, or pay bills.

Recently, law enforcement across the country has begun to see a new scam involving these QR codes at parking kiosks and meters around the country. According to route-fifty-dot-com, scammers are slapping stickers with QR codes on parking pay stations, directing drivers to websites and asking them for credit card or bank account information. Some people are reporting the scam is also taking form in fake parking tickets.

Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy and City of Brighton Police Chief Rob Bradford have both contacted WHMI wanting to get the warning out. Neither are aware of the scam being in Livingston County, currently, but both caution that it is likely only a matter of time. Chief Bradford wrote in an email that there are no police departments in Livingston County that use QR codes on their citations.

Residents should be encouraged to think long and hard when asked to divulge any personal information through using a QR code, as fraudsters are getting more savvy with their tricks the more prevalent the codes become.

Photo: City of Brighton.