Drivers warned about payment scam on the rise at UK car parks

Fraudsters targeting cashless payment systems for money and personal details

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 15 November 2022 08:55 GMT

Related: Protecting yourself from online scams

Drivers are being urged to be aware of a car park scam as increasing numbers of criminals target cashless payment systems.

Motorists are increasingly paying for car parking spaces using their phones as cash payments are phased out.

Some car parks operate a QR bar code scanning system similar to the ones that became widespread during the Covid pandemic.

Fraudsters are targeting these systems as they try to steal money and personal data from unsuspecting victims.

Increasing number of car parks use cashless payment systems

Anthony Cashel, of paybyphone, a global mobile parking app, said the scam is becoming “more prevalent”.

Earlier this month Isle of Wight Council warned that fraudsters had targetted a car park with a fake QR code disguised as a “quick pay” option.

The council said it was checking payment meters after a woman had money stolen from her bank account.

She had tried to pay for her parking using a bogus code stuck to a payment machine and was alerted to the fraud by her credit card company, the council said.

Katherine Hart, of Trading Standards, also said the scam was “very much” on the increase.

She told the Telegraph fake QR codes are “another way to data harvest or phish for personal details and steal our money.”

“This type of scam often targets the younger generation who are more likely to use their smartphones for payments,” she added.

Ms Hart urged anyone paying by QR code to only use it if “you are sure” that it is legitimate

“If in doubt use the telephone number that should be displayed in a prominent place,” she said.

“Ask yourself whether the company actually needs your personal details.”

Paybyphone, which operates payment systems in car parks across the UK, told the Telegraph scamming it takes scamming activity extremely seriously.

It said anyone using the system should download the paybyphone app directly from their app store.

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