In Santa Cruz, California, a 19-year-old man was arrested for creating fake parking tickets and placing them on parked vehicles near the beach. The tickets included a QR code that allowed victims to "pay" the fake citation through a website.
The suspect, who has not been named, was charged with unlawful use of a computer system and attempted fraud. It is unclear how many fake tickets were distributed or how many victims may have fallen for the scam. On Wednesday night, a man placed fake parking tickets on cars in Santa Cruz, California that directed potential victims to a website to pay a fine.
The suspect, Damian Vela of Watsonville, California, was charged with unlawful use of a computer system and attempted fraud. When confronted by the police, Vela denied receiving any payments. It is unclear how many fake tickets were distributed or how many victims may have fallen for the scam.
Protect Yourself from Parking Scams
Fake parking ticket scams have become a common occurrence in recent years, with police departments across the United States issuing warnings to drivers to be cautious. In addition to physical tickets like the ones found in Santa Cruz, California, these scams can also take the form of email or text messages.
Police departments in cities such as Washington, D.C., Pensacola, Florida, and Jefferson City, Missouri have all issued warnings to drivers to be on the lookout for these types of scams. The use of technology such as handheld printers has made it easier for scammers to create fake tickets, so it is important for drivers to remain vigilant and carefully examine any parking tickets they receive.
Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate and author of "How to be the World's Smartest Traveler," warned that technology such as handheld printers has made it easier for scammers to create fake parking tickets, and emphasized the importance of drivers being vigilant in order to avoid falling victim to these scams. This advice was given in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch in 2017.