Bromley Trading Standards is urging residents to be vigilant about fake QR codes, particularly if you don't use them often. These can be stickered over real ones or sent to you in writing or by email.

The warning follows a specific scam involving a fake letter which appears to be sent by Thames Water. The letter contains a QR code which directs residents to a fraudulent website offering help with paying their bills. This website then asks for personal information such as date of birth, address, and passport number.

Thames Water are assuring their customers that they will never ask for their personal or financial details or access to their online account. Like many other scams, the risk in this example is giving fraudsters your personal and financial details through a bogus link.

These are just two examples:

  1. Thames Water have been made aware of a scam letter sent to some customers claiming they are eligible for a reduced bill or free water.
  2. BBC news have published a story about a QR code at a railway station.

Protect yourself:

  • Where there is a QR code on a sign, check for any indication of tampering.
  • If in any doubt, don't proceed. Contact the genuine business directly to pay another way if you need to.
  • If you get taken to a website, stop and check the URL (website address). Is it secure?

The Get Safe Online website has a check a website tool.

Report and assistance

If you have given your bank details, contact your bank as soon as possible.

Call 159 to speak directly to your bank.

Report to Action Fraud if you've lost money - call 0300 123 2040 or visit the Action Fraud website.

Contact Citizens Advice for help and advice on 0808 223 1133 or on the Citizens Advice website

Report a suspicious website.

Forward a suspicious email to

The Which? website has information on how to spot a fake, fraudulent or scam website.

Bromley Trading Standards

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Bromley Trading Standards also runs a fair-trader directory to help you find a safe, reliable trader that you can trust, visit to learn more.

Published: 1st December 2023