Man Places Fake QR Codes at Jakarta Mosques to Steal Donation
Jakarta. Ramadan is the month of giving, and a man was recently caught on camera placing fake QR code stickers on charity boxes belonging to several mosques in Jakarta.
A video showing a bespectacled man in blue pulling the switcheroo at the Nurul Iman Mosque in Blok M Square Mall has gone viral on social media. The perpetrator did the same at the Nurullah Mosque in Kalibata City, Pancoran. If scanned, the QR code would link the user to transfer money to Restorasi Masjid (‘Mosque Restorations’).
According to the Nurul Iman Mosque committee member Habibi Katin, the unknown man committed his crime at around 10.30 a.m. on April 6 before the mosque opened. He had placed the fake QR codes on the mosque's walls and pillars. The mosque immediately removed the stickers.
“We noticed something was up. Usually, these charity boxes do not have QRIS [Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard] stickers, especially on the outside part of the box. And now we have an unidentified sticker,” Habibi said on Monday, as quoted by Beritasatu.com.
The police suspected that some people had fallen for the scam. The case, including the total losses, is still under investigation. But the Jakarta Police recently revealed that they have identified the culprit. The police did not elaborate if it was the same man.
“We have identified him,” the Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesperson Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko said on Tuesday.
Previous media reports revealed that the Restorasi Masjid QR stickers had been found in other locations, including Istiqlal Mosque, which is known to be Southeast Asia’s largest mosque. CNN reported that an Istiqlal Mosque caretaker had found 50 stickers.
Kompas also wrote that the Al-Azhar Great Mosque in Kebayoran Baru had discovered the fake QR code stickers on 12 charity boxes with one victim admitting to having already sent the money. In the meantime, the Al-Azhar mosque will stick to conventional donation boxes.
According to news outlet Liputan6, Bank Indonesia has blocked Restorasi Masjid’s QRIS. The central bank suspected that the perpetrator had previously applied for a QRIS code as Restorasi Masjid. But he did not register Restorasi Masjid as a place of worship but as a regular merchant. To sign up as a place of worship merchant, the applicant must submit an additional document for verification. The place of worship status will grant a 0 percent merchant discount rate.Tags: