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Don't let your guard down!

Mind you, this had nothing to do with Europe, and I was only a tourist in the sense that, although I grew up near the site of this occurrence, I now live in a neighboring American state. Hopefully some of you will be a bit amused.

Anyway, I made a long drive to see a concert at a venue that I haven't been to in years. I drove by the front of the theatre looking for parking, then saw a guy with an orange vest at an intersection waving at me to turn. I complied, he asked for $20 and gave me a parking stub and pointed where he wanted me to park.

I quickly realized I had just paid a resourceful scam artiste $20 to park on an unrestricted street.

Oh well, good for him. :)

Posted by
5308 posts

Coulda been worse -- he could have pointed you to a spot on a restricted street and you would have come back to a ticket -- or a towed car! He found a need and filled it.

Posted by
628 posts

Sorry that happened to you. Thank you for posting to make others aware of this scam. I wish we didn't have to live in a world where we have to question everyone. :(

Posted by
1840 posts

Chuck,

At least it was an unrestricted street and you subsequently didn't receive an expensive parking ticket :)

Unfortunately, right here in my city, I've seen TV reports of similar type things happening with people in seemingly-legit-looking vests, shirts, hats, or fake badges, whatever ACTING like an official at flat, open parking lots and collecting money, showing where to park, and later the payer realizing they had been scammed when they found one of those violator boot things on their car...........BECAUSE the lot was the type where they were supposed to deposit money into slot box or pay at some sort of machine and put a chit in their windshield......but then later, the real parking lot monitor came by to boot or issue citations to those who had paid the proper pay. There have even been photos of the people (the scammers) on TV from time to time. No wonder Uber seems to be so popular for going downtown among those who enjoy concerts!

But, that scam would be an easy one to fall for, as sometimes such legit people (employees of the parking management company for open) are on site during popular event times......how would one know what's legit and what's not for badges/attire, etc." And, would one DARE park there where the scam artist is "owing" the lot after pointing out his scam?....no telling what he'd do to your car while you are in the concert....THAT could be much more expensive!

You are right - we need be beware even here in our own country!!

Posted by
2811 posts

That happened to me a long time ago in Baltimore near the stadium. Although I think part of the money was for protection.

Posted by
65 posts

I agree with Laura B: " He found a need and filled it."

I think back on this with amusement because I consider myself a somewhat savvy overseas traveler and I end up getting swindled on my home ground.

On a related topic, when the Detroit Lions football team first moved back to the city after many years in the suburbs, there were many, many accounts of people paying an "attendant" to park only to have their car get towed.

Posted by
6798 posts

Next time you go back would you pay the guy again to park on his close-in convenient street, or drive around to a
lot? The little guy made a buck for once. Thanks for the warning and Maggie's info so we know what to watch for. I'd pay him.