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Fake Parking Ticket – How to spot them 2022

Fake Parking Ticket

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

Do you think you’ve received a fake parking ticket? Was it left on your windscreen, sent by email or by other means? If so, beware because there are many fake tickets in circulation. My advice is to check whether the penalty is genuine before doing anything else!

Receiving a parking ticket is never good news, but when you suspect it may be fake, things could take a turn for the worse! I look at how to spot whether a parking ticket is genuine and how to spot a scam.

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

First – what is a real Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), and why you’d get one!

Also called a parking ticket, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is a fine you could get for:

  • Parking without paying or illegally
  • Breaking certain traffic regulations
  • Failing to pay other things like London Congestion zone charges

There are several ways you could receive a genuine PCN. The ticket could be left on your windscreen or sent to you through the post. The issuer finds your address through the DVLA using your car’s registration!

You won’t be sent a PCN or other genuine parking ticket by email from a local authority or private parking operator!

Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) scam emails

Motorists in some regions of the country are aware of a parking ticket scam involving emails. One such alert is a PCN supposedly sent by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS). Fraudsters want to steal bank details by sending these scam PCN emails to people.

The email states that if you don’t pay on time, the charge increases and provides a link so you can pay quickly before this happens.

DO NOT click on the link!

The email may seem genuinely from HMCTS, but when you look closer, you’ll see:

  • Spelling mistakes – an example being “penality”
  • The sender’s address is not @justice.gov.uk

Above all, HMCTS never issues Penalty Charge Notices – EVER!

What to do when you get a fake PCN email

When you think you’ve been sent a fake PCN from HMCTS, report it to Action Fraud straight away. You can do so by forwarding the email to [email protected] 

You can also forward the scam PCN email to The National Cyber Security Centre.

NEVER click on any links in the scam email! If you do, contact your bank and let them know you may have inadvertently provided your details to fraudsters!

Fake parking tickets on your windscreen

You can buy fake parking tickets online. Supposedly they are to be used as jokes! However, things have gone horribly wrong when pranksters try it out on unwitting people.

Some of the tickets look genuine but don’t contact any details on the ticket if you’re unsure. Instead, contact the real issuer for the area and check the ticket is genuine!

Fake parking tickets in the post

Not all parking tickets are placed on your windscreen or given to you by hand. You can get one in the post!

When you receive one in the mail, please don’t do anything until you’re sure it is genuine and not a fake! For example, do not send a payment until you are sure the ticket is yours to pay and that you committed the offence.

Fake parking tickets from other people

You may find a fake parking ticket on your car placed there by other people and not an authority! Although it may not be a scam to get money out of you, it is still highly annoying.

You could find the ticket is genuine but was put on your car by another driver! Always check the details on a parking ticket before you do anything!

How to avoid fake parking tickets

If you think a parking ticket is fake, do the following:

  • Check who issued the ticket – was it a private parking operator or a local authority. You can contact them directly to determine whether they gave the ticket or not! DO NOT call the number on the ticket if there is one. Instead, look up the official contact details of the council or private operator for the area
  • Make sure it’s your car’s registration number on the ticket and not someone else’s. Even if the details are correct, the ticket could still be fake, and if you have any suspicions, don’t do anything until you speak to someone official

Parking tickets are big business!

Councils and private operators make millions by issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). Some boroughs in London issue hundreds of thousands of tickets every year. With so much money at stake, fraudsters are cashing in. It doesn’t help that you can buy fake parking tickets online either.

Also, even with new laws in place, a physical parking ticket is not always required. As such, you may receive one in the mail. But you’ll NEVER get a parking ticket sent via email!

My advice, if you feel a parking ticket is not genuine, no matter how you got it, contact the official issuer and not the number on the ticket

Instead, go online and find out who the issuer should be and then use the contact details provided on their website.

NEVER feel pressured to make a quick payment to avoid extra costs! Remember, when you get a genuine parking ticket, you have 14 days to pay up (or appeal) when it’s left on the windscreen. However, if you get a parking ticket in the post, you could be given 21 days to pay!

In short, there is a procedure to follow that scammers ignore. They want you to pay quickly or get your bank details to defraud you some more!

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor fees, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

Challenging parking tickets is easier these days!

Even when a parking ticket is genuine, it’s easier to challenge these days. So when you think the parking ticket is fake, go to the gov.uk website, Type in the postcode of where you got the ticket and see what comes up!

Thanks for reading my post on fake parking tickets. I hope the information helps you decide whether to take things seriously or question if the parking ticket is genuine!

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