Raleigh warns residents about bogus parking notices

rstradling@newsobserver.comNovember 26, 2012 

— As scams go, this one doesn’t seem very well thought out.

Someone placed bogus notices on the windshields of several vehicles in West Raleigh over the weekend indicating they had overdue parking tickets.

The notices, which bear the city logo and claim to come from the “Parking Violations Bureau,” seek payment of $476 for an overdue parking ticket and a late penalty. But it’s not clear the authors of the notices ever hoped to collect.

Neither the website nor the toll-free number where people are directed to make payments are in use. The notices also say motorists can send payments to one of two P.O. boxes in Raleigh, but it turns out that neither of those are legitimate either. One includes a Zip code that is not in use, and both have seven-digit P.O. box numbers, something the Postal Service doesn’t have in this area, said spokesman Carl Walton.

Any checks mailed to those addresses would get returned, Walton said.

There are other clues that the notices are phony. They include no information about the vehicle with the alleged outstanding parking ticket; the word “delinquent” is misspelled, and the value of the ticket ($56) and the penalty ($170) don’t add up to the total amount due ($476).

Then there’s the usual language of the fine print, which includes this sentence: “You cannot park and it is insulting so you will be billed for your current mishaps plus a 5% interest which is compounded, from your original total, daily.”

The city says the notices were found on windshields along Dixie Trail and perhaps other streets near Meredith College.

Raleigh has been looking for better ways to collect delinquent parking ticket fines, but city officials say they usually send notices about violations by U.S. mail and never leave them on vehicles. City officials ask anyone who suspects they have received one of the bogus notices to contact police at 919-996-3335.

Stradling: 919-829-4739

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