Police and Trading Standards officers are warning elderly Sleaford area residents to be on their guard against an increase in fake parking fine scams.
Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens.
The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.
Victims are then said to have been advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.
Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are “shoulder surfed” by the suspect who takes note of the PIN the victim has inputted. The card is then with-held by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.
Action Fraud advises that if you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.