Retailers Like QR Codes, But Will Shoppers? 04:21
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Here & Now's very own QR code.
Here & Now's very own QR code.

Have you noticed those squiggly black and white boxes popping up everywhere? They're called Quick Response, or QR codes, and they look like a pop art version of a traditional bar code. When shoppers scan one with a smart phone, they're whisked off to websites where they can get coupons, more information or even buy the product.

Even charities, like the Salvation Army, are getting in on the act. In some cities, Salvation Army bell ringers will have QR codes on their posters. People can scan the code and donate to the charity online, in case they don't have extra change for the red kettle.

But Sharon Vaknin of the tech news website, CNET, warns there are scams out there. Some hackers have created QR codes that will prompt your phone to download a virus. Vaknin says hackers are pasting their QR codes on top of the official ones at stores. So she warns consumers to be on the lookout for that before they scan.

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This segment aired on November 24, 2011.

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