On February 28, residents near Yongjinli Community in Haidian district and Fangqunyuan Community in Fengtai district reported that they found water bills on their door. The bill had a QR code of China Water, the company that collects water fees, and the name and staff number of the person who was in charge of the area.
The bill showed the amount of money due for each apartment, and it required a payment in five days by scanning the QR code. It also claimed that the bill had to be paid by scanning the QR code in five days. Missing the deadline would cause additional charge. The service will also be suspended.
Residents told Beijing Youth Daily reporters that they were confused and worried to pay because they noticed that the layout of the bill was slightly different from the previous bills. After scanning the QR code, the screen automatically turned to payment page on Alipay.
In the afternoon of February 28, Beijing Waterworks Group immediately had investigation and responded that the water bill was fudged.
The group has sent legal notice to Alipay to freeze the account of the fake QR code. They also reminded citizens that official water bills should include household code, address, the consumption of water and the amount of money. Residents can pay in different locations such as banks, self-service machines and online account. They also confirmed that the group never authorized any individual to collect water bills.
In recent years, QR code has been fudged in various occasions such as police issued traffic tickets, bills for bike rental service (such as Mobike and Ofo public bicycles). Police also remind citizens to be careful with any QR code as well as to keep safe of their payment code.