Will QR code on free water bottle empty your bank account?!

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Will the QR code on a free water bottle really empty your bank account if you scan it?! Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : QR Code On Free Water Bottle Will Empty Your Bank Account!

People are sharing a video on WhatsApp and social media, claiming or suggesting that water bottles are being distributed by scammers, and scanning the QR code on those water bottles will empty your bank accounts!

Don’t scan any gift QR, it will Zero your bank account.

The scammer put a new thermos bottle on the iron door. Never scan the QR code on a thermos. Once scanned, the money from the bank account was stolen by the fraudsters. Please spread the word

Here is a translated transcript of what the man says in the video below:

After we came out of the house, we saw this tumbler. This is one of the ways they placed the tumbler on our gates. My house received one, my neighbour also received one. See.

So people have to be careful because the bottle says “Scan QR get RM200 cash coupon”. Go Shopping. You have to be careful. My neighbour also received one.

Recommended : Bank Letter QR Code Scam : What You Need To Know!


Truth : QR Code On Free Water Bottle Will Not Empty Your Bank Account!

This appears to be yet another example of fake news circulating online, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Go Shopping Appears To Be Legitimate App

I traced the Go Shopping app to both the Google Play Store (archive), and the Apple App Store (archive), and it appears to be a genuine mobile app. In both stores, it describes itself as:

Go Shopping is an online shopping app primarily serving the Southeast Asian region. It has expanded to over 7 countries, amassing more than 200,000 users. Go Shopping garners support from major source manufacturers, differentiating it from other e-commerce platforms.

As a rapidly growing new e-commerce platform, Go Shopping offers Southeast Asian users high value-for-money shopping, a wide range of products, and various discount plans. Many popular products on the Go Shopping platform are available at substantial discounts of 40% to 60%. Consumers can learn more about products and join flash sale groups

In the Google Play Store, the developer was listed as NWS Hardware Trading, while in the Apple App Store, the developer was listed as Yap Chee Leong.

In the Google Play Store, the Go Shopping app has a 3.5 star rating, and it has a 3.3 star rating in the Apple App Store.

Fact #2 : NWS Hardware Trading Appears To Be Legitimate Company

I looked up NWS Hardware Trading, and it appears to be a genuine company that was incorporated on 10 May 2022 in Malaysia, with the SSM registration number of 003396291-V.

According to CTOS (archive), its official business type was listed as “trading in furniture hardware and aluminium glass door for kitchen and wardrobe“.

However, on two different job recruitment websites (here, here), NWS Hardware Trading uses the same Go Shopping logo, and says that it aims to create “a reliable business platform for shoppers to buy good products and save money“:

About NWS Hardware Trading

WORTH is aimed to present a reliable business platform for the Shoppers to buy the good products and save money. More than 3,000 manufacturers and suppliers have business cooperation with us to help factories clear their inventories.

This basically confirms that NWS Hardware Trading is a legitimate company registered in Malaysia, and it developed and owns the Go Shopping app that is available in both the Google Play Store, and the Apple App Store.

Recommended : Can Restaurant Menu QR Code Hack Your Phone?!

Will QR code on free water bottle empty your bank account?!

Fact #3 : QR Code Is Not Malicious In Nature

QR code (which is short for Quick Response code) is not nefarious or malicious in nature.

The QR code is merely a type of two dimensional barcode that was invented in 1994 by the Japanese company, Denso Wave, to track automotive parts. It has since been adopted for other purposes because it is more efficient and can support more than just numbers. For example, Version 40 QR code can contain up to 7,089 numbers or 4,296 characters.

Ultimately, a QR code is nothing more than a series of numbers or characters – data which can be used for a variety of purposes, including providing a link to an online restaurant menu.

Fact #4 : QR Code Cannot Empty Bank Accounts

While QR codes are not malicious by nature, scammers can and do create fake QR codes to trick people. In Texas, for example, fake QR codes were placed on parking meters to trick drivers into keying their credit card or bank login information in fake (phishing) websites that look like a genuine payment website.

I tried a number of ways to scan the QR code, but was unsuccessful. The resolution appears to be too poor in the video, or the QR code was too distorted to be scanned successfully. So I cannot confirm that the QR code leads to the Go Shopping app, or a phishing website.

That said, scanning the QR code itself won’t empty your bank account, as people are claiming on WhatsApp and social media. That’s the stuff of bad movie plots.

What can happen though is that scammers can create such water bottles using logos of legitimate companies, and insert QR codes that lead to fake (phishing) websites that masquerade as bank or payment platforms, to trick you into giving up your credit card or bank login details.

Then the scammers can use those details to make fraudulent charges on your credit card, or log into your bank account to transfer money.

Recommended : Malaysia Airlines 6 Months Free Flight Card Scam Alert!

Can Restaurant Menu QR Code Hack Your Phone?!

Fact #5 : Go Shopping Is Pretty Obscure

Truth be told, scammers would more likely use more famous or familiar brands or apps like TNG eWallet, Grab, Maybank MAE, etc. to trick you into giving up your credit card or bank login details.

You are more likely to trust a QR code from a well-known brand, rather than an obscure brand like Go Shopping, whose app has only garnered some 10,000 downloads in the Google Play Store.

Although I cannot verify the QR code on the water bottle, this looks like a marketing promotion by NWS Hardware to promote its Go Shopping app.

Fact #6 : You Can Choose Not To Scan QR Code

If you receive such a water bottle, there is a simple solution – you can use it without scanning the QR code.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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