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Parking Ticket on Car
The Rockies.Life Staff

Scammers Parking Their Schemes On Calgary Streets

Scammers are getting creative in Calgary, placing fake parking tickets on vehicles around the city.

Times are tough, and scammers are going to new lengths to make people’s lives even harder. 

The Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) claims fraudsters are placing fake parking tickets on vehicles around the city. 

CPA officials spoke on the issue on Tuesday. 

They didn’t specify how many fake violations they found, but they found enough to issue a warning.

An example of a fake parking ticket in Calgary | @CalgaryParking | X
An example of a fake parking ticket in Calgary | @CalgaryParking | X

The fake tickets are almost identical to the real tickets issued by the city and contain much of the same information, like a fine table. 

The phony ticket directs people to a fake website where they can supposedly pay for their ticket. 

You can bet your parking meter change that anything you pay on the website isn’t going to the city. 

The website URL posted on the fake tickets includes “calgaryparkplus.” 

The URLs for the CPA’s official payment websites are calgaryparking.com/tickets and parkingtickets.calgaryparking.com.

The CPA encourages anyone who receives a parking ticket to verify it by calling the authority with their ticket number. 

Verifying a parking ticket with a CPA official is equally, if not more embarrassing than falling for a phony ticket scam. 

If you would rather not speak to a CPA official about your parking woes, you can verify your ticket online at the CPA’s website. 

If you can identify a fake ticket, destroy it immediately and do not follow the printed instructions. Report the ticket to Calgary police via their non-emergency line. 

Phony parking ticket scams aren’t limited to physical tickets. 

At the start of April, the CPA notified the public about scammers sending text messages warning of a parking violation.

The text message included a link to another fake website. Fake text messages, emails, and websites are common examples of phishing

Fraudsters use phishing to obtain your personal information online, including usernames, passwords, and credit card details. 

Suspicious Scams On The Rise

Since the start of the decade, Albertans have lost more than $156 million to scammers. 

In 2020 alone, fraudsters robbed over $11 million from 2,600 people. 

Example of a text message scam referring Calgarians to a fake website where they can pay their parking ticket | @CalgaryParking | X
Example of a text message scam referring Calgarians to a fake website where they can pay their parking ticket | @CalgaryParking | X

In 2023, 2,900 Albertans lost over $62 million, or about five times as much as in 2020. 

The undisputed king of scams is investment scams, which include cryptocurrency scams, pyramid schemes, and Ponzi schemes. 

In 2023, investment scams caused almost 60 percent of Alberta’s total fraud losses, costing Albertans almost $36 million.

About 400 Albertans fell for investment scams, most involving cryptocurrency investment fraud last year. 

Some people argue that cryptocurrency is a scam in and of itself, while others are drawn to the idea that digital currency can make them rich. 

“If there was a magic investment opportunity that would make you rich, then people would take advantage of that — and people would not reach out to you to be part of that. That’s just too good to be true,” Alfred Lahar, a finance professor at the University of Calgary, told CBC News.

In addition to phishing and investment scams, grandparent or emergency scams are rising in Alberta. Grandparent scams usually involve a scammer calling seniors and pretending to be a loved one in a pinch.

About 90 percent of Alberta’s emergency scam losses were from seniors. Our province’s seniors’ big hearts make them easy targets for scammers. 

Scammers also have modern technology at their disposal, including artificial intelligence that can mimic voices, making it difficult for seniors to tell their family members and scammers apart.  

It feels like there is a new scam every day in Alberta. 

The best way to protect yourself is to be especially cautious about emails, text messages, phone calls, and now parking tickets.

Calgary senior Isabella Warmerdam who lost upwards of $10,000 through the grandparent scam
Calgary senior Isabella Warmerdam who lost upwards of $10,000 through the grandparent scam | Tomasia DaSilva | Global News

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