A prankster is distributing fake parking tickets in downtown Asheville, the city of Asheville announced on Friday. The tickets contain a QR code that, when scanned, takes you to a YouTube video of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, an online sleight-of-hand known as RickRolling. From the city:
The false citations have the City of Asheville logo on them, making them look official, said Harry Brown, Parking Services Manager.
They also have QR codes on them. “That’s a dead giveaway,” said Brown. “Our citations do not have QR codes on them.”
The false tickets also sport alarmingly high fines on them, much higher fines than the City of Asheville charges. The false ticket says due now: $100 with a late charge of $200. The actual fine for overtime parking is $10.
Authentic City of Asheville citations also have an orange stripe across the top above the words PARKING CITATION.
If anyone believes they’ve received a bogus parking ticket call Asheville Parking Services at 828-259-5759. For more information about parking in the City of Asheville visit, ashevillenc.gov/ParkingServices.
WLOS-TV, in their report about the bogus tickets, got a great quote from Ken Putnam, the city’s transportation director.
The ticket is physically larger. It was dated Friday, March, 5th when it was the 4th. It had a fake officer ID and made up violation code. The ticket also had a QR code for smart phones to scan. The city’s tickets do not have QR codes.
“It was kind of surprising to go to a link for a YouTube video, and then when I went it was featuring some rock star that I didn’t know who it was,” said Putnam.
The only “bogus” tickets I’ve gotten were actually issued by the city. The reason? “Oh, I didn’t check to see if you’d paid with the Passport app. But I’ve already written the ticket so I can’t take it back but you can appeal.” And yes, I appealed. And yes, it was denied.
Also, payment processing and appeals are done in Maryland, which keeps a portion of the fines paid. Stay local much?