Did you get a ticket for parking in the wrong spot? Take another look.

Who Is It Targeting: Drivers

What Is It: Fake parking tickets that trick you into paying

What Are They After: Chalk this one up to a lot of creativity and a little bit of technology. Reports have surfaced from all over the US of fake parking tickets that look like the real thing. These genuine-looking citation envelopes are readily available for sale on the internet, as are the small handheld printers that produce the official-looking ticket.

The catch is in the web address printed on the payment envelope. It leads to a fake website, and your money—and possibly even your personal identifiable information—goes directly to a scammer.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • If you receive a parking ticket, check the wording very carefully for signs of fraud.
  • When in doubt, do NOT rely on the website printed on the citation; look up the web address for your city or jurisdiction and enter your license plate or citation number.
  • If the ticket is genuine, your jurisdiction will have a record of it; if your license plate number doesn’t produce a result, it’s not real.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from WSPA.com.