We have talked about how we ought to always be careful when scanning quick response codes. This is because a lot of QR codes have been used to link to malware sites and other online content that carry viruses that could in turn be harmful to our devices. However, one thing that QR code experts do not mention too often is the possibility of others using these codes for entirely inappropriate material.
This is what a family in Oregon reportedly found out when they scanned a QR code on a Pokeman card. The Lapps claim that the code took them to a pornography site when they scanned the code on one of the toy cards. The code was supposed to promote the Pokemon TCG Online Trainer Challenge.
Ben Lapp said that while his 9- and 7-year-old kids were not able to see the site, he and his wife are concerned that other families and other children might not be as lucky. Children who play the cards without adult supervision and who already know how to scan QR codes might see the pornographic video while expecting something else.
However, a lot of the people who commented on this story – which was reported by Fox 12 Oregon – said that this was just either a hoax or a glitch. Some said that scanning the code only took them to some text and not a site URL. Others also pointed out that the directions on the card says that you need to use your webcam to access the code online, and not your smartphone.
Whether this is true or not, it should serve as a reminder for all of us to always be vigilant when it comes to scanning codes. For marketers, it shows how important it is that they give clear instructions on what to use and a description of where the code will take scanners. Marketers should also test their QR codes and make sure these lead to the correct materials or contents before they send these codes out for distribution.
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