Home Radio codes Super Bowl ad with QR code blocks cryptocurrency app – 95.5 WSB

Super Bowl ad with QR code blocks cryptocurrency app – 95.5 WSB


A popular cryptocurrency exchange ran a very simple ad during the Super Bowl, but they didn’t anticipate the boost in web traffic it would create.

Coinbase’s announcement just showed a QR code moving slowly across the screen, changing color as electronic music plays. The QR code linked to the Coinbase website offering $15 in Bitcoin for those who sign up.

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According to CNN, Coinbase saw at least 20 million clicks on the landing page linked to the QR during the 60-second ad. The traffic overwhelmed the servers and blocked the app for almost an hour.

The ad also helped boost Coinbase’s ranking on the Apple App Store, moving it from 186th to 2nd place according to The Block, a crypto news site.

The popularity of QR codes has prompted the FBI to advise the public to be careful when scanning them.

According to an FBI alert, “Cybercriminals take advantage of this technology by directing QR code scans to malicious sites to steal victims’ data, embedding malware to gain access to the victim’s device, and redirecting payment for cybercriminal use”.

Fraudulent QR codes were found in parking garages in Texas that directed people to a fake website and forced victims to pay a fraudulent seller, CNN reported.

The FBI has offered these tips to protect you:

  • When you scan a QR code, check the web address to make sure it’s genuine. Check carefully for typos or misplaced letters.
  • Be careful when entering personal or financial information on a website accessible from a QR code.
  • Make sure the code you are scanning has not been tampered with, such as in a sticker placed above the original.
  • If you receive an email saying you need to pay using a QR code, call the business to verify before paying.
  • Do not download a QR scanner app. Most phones have a built-in scanner through the device’s camera.
  • If you receive a QR code from someone you know, contact them via a separate number or email address to confirm the code is from them.
  • Avoid making payments through websites accessible through a QR code.

Anyone who thinks they have been the victim of a fraudulent QR code and had their money stolen, report the fraud to your local FBI office.