BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - There's a new twist on an old scam emerging across New England. The Better Business Bureau says it's all thanks in part to new technology used to create fake parking tickets that look surprisingly official.
Their advice? If you think you parked legally and return to find a ticket on your windshield, you may just be getting scammed.
The scam is easy enough. Criminals target a driver who parked in a legal parking zone, or perhaps one that pays to park on the street or in a garage. When you're away from your vehicle, scammers will use a high-tech hand-held printer to create the fake ticket and leave it on your windshield. The ticket will ask the owner of the vehicle to pay online, via PayPal or using a QR code that will take victims to a fake payment website. The scam isn't just about taking your money but your personal information as well.
The BBB is now offering several tips to keep your safe from falling victim. The organization urges drivers to 'know before you park.' They say before visiting a new place, do some quick research as to where you may be able to park. Keep in mind, if you have out-of-state plates, you may have a higher risk of being targeted by scammers.
If you do receive a ticket, make sure it's real. Scammers often use official looking logos and city office names. If you're in an unfamiliar city and you're not sure, have a look on the city's official parking ticket website and compare the two. And if you are asked to visit a website, keep in mind that government websites should end in a ".gov" and if there is a payment page, it should have a secure connection. If you do end up making a payment, use a credit card when possible as it'll be easier to contest a fraudulent charge if you are indeed being scammed.
If you have fallen victim or believe you may be a targeted victim in this or any other scam, you can report it to the BBB via their scam tracker.