Cannabis dealers use QR codes on lampposts to lure customers online

A new trend of advertising cannabis products using QR codes on lampposts has emerged in Scotland. The stickers, which feature a cannabis leaf and the slogan ‘Get your delivery’, direct potential buyers to a website that claims to sell legal cannabis. However, police have warned the public not to scan the codes or click on any links, as they could be part of a scam or a criminal operation.

The QR code stickers have been spotted in various locations in Worcester, including near schools, universities, and even police stations. The stickers are similar to those that have been seen in London and other parts of the UK, suggesting that the dealers are using a nationwide network to distribute their products.

The QR codes are usually used by legitimate retailers to direct customers to their online stores using a smartphone camera. However, in this case, the codes take the users to a website that offers a range of cannabis products, such as flowers, oils, edibles, and vapes. The website claims that the products are legal and comply with the UK laws, but this is false, as cannabis is still illegal in the UK for recreational use.

The website also invites the users to follow them on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app that is popular among criminals and terrorists. The app allows the dealers to communicate with their customers without being traced by the authorities. The dealers may also use the app to collect personal and financial information from the users, or to send them harmful or counterfeit products.

Police and council urge caution and report stickers

The police and the council have been alerted to the presence of the stickers and have launched an investigation. They have also advised the public not to scan the QR codes or visit the website, as they could be exposing themselves to risks of fraud, identity theft, or prosecution.

Worcester Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Tanya Beckett said: “We have been made aware of stickers being placed on street furniture and bins in some parts of Worcester promoting the sale of Cannabis. West Mercia Police is dedicated to tackling drug supply in the community. I would like to reassure the public that we are now investigating this issue and I advise that people don’t attempt to scan the attached QR code. I would urge anyone who has any information about these stickers to contact us.”

A spokesperson for Worcester City Council said: “We have reported this matter to the police who are investigating. Members of our street scene team are now out and about removing the stickers.”

Cannabis remains illegal and harmful in the UK

Cannabis is a Class B drug in the UK, which means that possessing, producing, or supplying it is illegal and punishable by up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. Cannabis can also have negative effects on the physical and mental health of the users, such as increasing the risk of lung diseases, impairing memory and concentration, and triggering psychosis and paranoia.

The public is advised to stay away from any websites or apps that claim to sell legal cannabis, as they are likely to be scams or criminal enterprises. Anyone who has information about the QR code stickers or the dealers behind them should report it to the police or to Crimestoppers anonymously.

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