WASHINGTON — Parking tickets are one of many nuisances for drivers but it can be even more displeasing when some are discovered to be scams.
So, how do you avoid being a victim of a fake parking ticket? Well, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides tips on how to not get played by the faux parking police.
Rule number one: Be aware of your surroundings. The BBB says that out-of-town tourists are targets for fake tickets so before visiting a new area it is best to make sure to do your research ahead of time and read parking signs carefully.
Next, pay attention to even the smallest details on a parking citation. The BBB explains that scammers are able to copy logos and city office names, but the website where you pay can show signs that it's possibly a scam.
Do a quick internet search of the area's parking citation website and see if it matches with the ticket you received. Also, it is important to note that government websites will always end in .gov or .ca if you are in Canada. If you are ever prompted to another payment page it should always have a secure connection, according to the BBB.
If you prefer paying with a check, double-check how it should be addressed. The BBB says checks should usually be made to a government organization and not a personal name or a string of initials. However, it is recommended to pay a parking citation with a credit card if possible. This is because it will be easier to contest fraudulent charges if you have been scammed, according to the BBB.
Mark Sussman bought fake parking tickets he found online and placed them on cars illegally parking in the pedestrian activation space.