DRIVERS are being warned to look out for scam parking tickets.
Police think Mavis Hanson, of Bronyon Close, Bury St Edmunds, avoided being the victim of credit card fraud because things about the ticket on her car made her suspicious, even though it was put on the screen in a genuine-looking parking ticket bag.
She found the ticket on her car the day after attending a gardening club meeting in the Quaker Meeting House, in Bury.
“Because I’d hurt my foot in a fall, my husband parked in the disabled spaces near the library,” she said.
The ticket claimed to be for parking in the disabled space and was from a company called PB Parking Ltd, but their address had been blacked out so the only way payment could be made was by credit card at a phone number starting 0254 between 8pm and 5am.
“I didn’t think it looked right,” Mrs Hanson said. “I called the council and they said it was nothing to do with them. The police have never heard of this company.I’m not going to pay it.”
St Edmundsbury Borough Council issues tickets in its car parks and certain on-street parking areas, while Suffolk Police issue them on the streets. Both say their tickets carry their crest with a Suffolk address. They only use local phone numbers and neither uses third parties to collect parking fines.
The police urged anyone with doubts about a parking ticket to take it to a police station.
A spokesman said: “I’ve not heard of other incidents in the county, but I have heard of scam tickets in other parts of the country. If you get a parking ticket, examine it carefully before paying.”
A spokesperson for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “The tickets that the borough council issues are immediately recognisable. They carry our crest and local telephone contact numbers.”
Telephone watchdog Ofcom confirmed that the 0254 code is not a UK one. A spokeswoman said: “Quite a few Africa codes begin 025.”
BT’s international code checker shows 254 as the international code for Kenya, but in this country it must be prefixed with 00 to get the international service.
Even so, many internet, email and phone credit card scams have originated in Africa.
PB Parking does not appear to be listed at the UK’s Companies House.
Joke parking tickets, with bags, are available but most only protest about inconsiderate parking and do not ask for fines.