More and more users now use payment apps and online banking to shop, pay bills, and transfer money. This has also resulted in an increase in cyber fraud.
just scanning the QR code lets you directly transfer money from your account to the merchant. However, a scammer can also use QR codes to have money transferred from your account to theirs from any payment app such as Paytm, Gray, PhonPe etc.
As a practice, avoid scanning QR codes sent by an unknown person or a third-party app for any kind of transaction. If you have to transfer money for any online purchase, choose to type in the phone number or UPI id of the person you want to send the money - you will be in more control of the entire transaction.
If you want to protect yourself from this scam, the first thing to do is beware of such texts. Also, if someone you know receives a message for help, instead of replying to it, call first so that you can confirm that the message came from someone you know and not a thief. Do not share your personal information over text under any circumstances.