Several people on the Sunshine Coast recently alerted police after finding “suspicious” parking notices on their vehicles.
On Nov. 3, a driver who parked on Cowrie Street in Sechelt received an apparent $142 parking ticket from the Sunshine Coast Parking Authority for parking over the lines and taking up two spaces.
The notice stated that “Failure to pay this violation may result in additional fines, arrest and/or vehicle seizure” and offered a “Quick Pay $75” option that directed the recipient to a website, accepting payment through PayPal.
The problem is, there is no Sunshine Coast Parking Authority.
Those who make it to the website find a statement that reads, “Failure to pay this violation will not result in additional fines, arrest and/or vehicle seizure. No such authority exists on the Sunshine Coast. Although many people believe that one should! You have been scammed!”
The website also states: “The fake PayPal redirect has been removed due to a complaint to the RCMP. Always READ THE FINE PRINT!”
Looking at the original fake parking ticket, there are several clues questioning its authenticity. The notice is rife with spelling errors — including “voilation” for violation and Seashell instead of Sechelt.
Some of the alleged ticket offences (spelled as the American “offense”) include “Thinking only of yourself/laziness” and “Not keeping a safe level of blinker fluid” (spelled “fliud”).
At the very bottom, it also reads, “Finally this ticket was issued by a concerned citizen and is not an actual fine. This ticket is for entertainment purposes only.”
Sunshine Coast RCMP warned about the fake parking ticket scam on Nov. 5 but have since removed the news release from their website.
Police told Global News they have since identified a local printer as the person behind the fake tickets and he told officers it was just a joke.
“He thought it was funny to put the “ticket” on cars whom he felt couldn’t park properly,” Const. Karen Whitby said.
“He got a ton of negative press locally though and it was kind of escalating so we decided to remove the post.”
PHOTO: A look at the full parking ticket below: