Train passengers have been warned after a woman lost £13,000 in a QR code scam.
The woman fell victim to the scam in the carpark of Thornaby Station where scammers had covered over the station’s code with their own.
This QR code took the woman to a fake website that allowed them to steal her card information and redirect payments.
Following the incident in August, rail firm TransPennine Express removed all QR codes from its car parks after reports of similar scams.
According to data, the incident at the station is one of around 1,200 QR scams being investigated by the UK’s National Fraud Reporting Centre.
When the victim, who wished to remain anonymous, was first scammed, several fraudulent payments were blocked by her bank.
After this, the BBC reported that the fraudsters called her pretending to be bank staff and convinced her these transactions were legitimate.
They also set up an online banking account and changed her address while calling for new cards to be sent out.
Despite happening nearly six months ago, the victim is reportedly still waiting for her credit card to be frozen.
She told the BBC that she wouldn’t be using a QR code ever again.
She added: “When the scammer called, he was so convincing and gave me a sense of security by mentioning transactions from my account that I recognised.
“But even while I was on the phone, he was logging into my accounts as me and took out a loan in 20 minutes. I can’t believe I fell for it.
“Luckily, I had another credit card to survive on, but without that and help from my son, I don’t know how I would have coped.”
In a statement, VirginMoney said they had written off a loan made during the scam and refunded all fraudulent transactions.
A spokesperson for the bank said the scammers had made off with £4,700 and other transactions had been blocked.
They added that the company was taking steps to protect the victim in the future and placed enhanced security controls on her accounts.
TransPennine Express added they were asking customers not to use QR codes in their car parks.
Managing director Chris Jackson said: “We acted quickly and thoroughly inspected all our car park signs. No evidence of fraudulent stickers was found and we had not received any reports in our customer relations system or social media contact.”