As we slowly move into a cashless society, there become more and more opportunities for tech savvy thieves to bilk us out of our money. The latest scheme involves parking meters, and Massachusetts State Police are issuing a warning to unsuspecting drivers.
One of the biggest hurdles to climb when you are trying to find a parking spot in a place like New Bedford, Fall River, or even Boston or New York is the struggle for loose change. As someone who rarely starts the day with much actual cash in my pocket, it’s not unusual for me to be rifling through the loose change in my car’s cup holders, weeding out pennies, nickels and dimes and celebrating the find of quarters.
That’s why I was so pumped when New Bedford and so many other cities decided to go the way of a payment app for the city’s parking meters. The app not only eliminates the need for quarters, but also allows you to add extra time to your meter if your dinner or shopping is running longer than expected. The convenience is huge, but you need to be careful.
Massachusetts State Police are warning about a scam that uses fraudulent QR code stickers that are placed on random parking meters that trick drivers into thinking they have a quick pay option with the meter. The QR codes direct the victims to a fraudulent website, where they are prompted to enter payment details for their parking.
Instead of taking care of the meter, however, they are submitting debit and credit card information directly to the scammers.
Massachusetts State Police say this scam has already been successfully pulled off in places like Austin, Texas. They are asking parkers to report suspected internet crime to IC3.gov.