A man allegedly placed fake COVIDsafe QR code check-ins over real ones to “spread his message”, a court has heard.
A man allegedly placed fake COVIDsafe QR code check-ins over real ones to “spread his message”, a court has heard.

Man allegedly tampered with QR codes to ‘spread message’

A man replaced the State Government's COVID-19 QR code check-in outside a suburban shopping centre with codes of his own because he "wanted to get his message out to the public," a court has heard.

On Wednesday, Colin Mark Davies, 51, of Edwardstown, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court after being arrested at his home address.

In court, police prosecutors allege the offences occurred at the Forbes Shopping Centre on Marion Road at South Plympton on Sunday, April 25.

He was charged him with two counts of obstructing operations carried out relative to COVID-19 under the Emergency Management Act.

Prosecutors said Davies had placed loose QR codes over the top of the contact tracing code at the entrance to the centre's fruit and vegetable section, and the bakery section.

They said that during a subsequent search of his home, a double-sided knife was found under his bed, which led to a second charge of possess prohibited weapon.

Counsel for Davies asked their client to be granted bail, noting he faced a fine and not jail time if convicted.

They said their client had "wanted to get his message out to the public" and did not realise it was an offence to obstruct the QR codes.

They said they had spoken with him about the seriousness of his actions, and he has assured them he would find another way to spread his message.

The court was not told what message he wanted to pass to the public.

Magistrate Michelle Sutcliffe released Davies on $800 bail, and banned him from approaching the shopping centre or possessing any loose QR codes.

He will face court again in July.

Any person found to be tampering or obstructing with business QR codes likely faces arrest and a court penalty of up to $10,000.

Police reassured the public no personal data has been released through these fake QR codes.

It comes after anti-vaxxers tampered with QR code check-ins at Blackwood businesses.

Police are investigating and Business SA chair Nikki Govan said people using the altered QR code check-in were redirected to an anti-vaccination website.

If a business or customer suspects that a false QR code has been attached to a COVID-Safe Plan, they should contact the police assistance line on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

 

Originally published as Man allegedly tampered with QR codes to 'spread message'



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