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Got a parking ticket? It could be a scam

Parking tickets are often a nasty surprise, but the latest scam from internet fraudsters could see you paying a fine that doesn't even exist.

The latest phishing scam circling around is issuing random emails with parking tickets. The email pertains to come from the UKPC, or UK Parking Control, with the terrifying heading, 'Notice to Ticket Keeper' or 'Reminder to Ticket Keeper'.

There's a few lines of fairly official sounding text, claiming that a parking attendant has reason to believe that said parking occurred on a client's private land. Below is your bill, complete with a fake date, a fake reference number and a fake parking charge amount of £90. 

This is a very sleek looking scam; it doesn't seem like the phishing email we're on the look out for. It isn't flooded with spelling mistakes, the layout is very professional and on the surface, everything seems to check out. 

The trouble starts when you click the link to 'payment options and photos' at the bottom. At best, you could download a ton of malware; at worst, you could also end up losing £90 to a non-existent fine.

The clever part of this scam is that it depends on the victim to provide the urgency. A parking ticket is something that most people tend to follow up immediately, and are likely to pay without asking too many questions. By using a well-known organisation, many people are likely to click the link without thinking twice. 

There's a fairly easy way to check whether the parking ticket is real or not. According to the UKPC's official website, they do not send Parking Charges by email; so if you've got one, send it straight to junk.  If you have clicked a link in the email, immediately run a malware scan on your computer. 

If a parking ticket was stuck to your vehicle, it's probably the real thing. Not definitely, but probably. If all else fails, there's a great little AI that will appeal the charge for you!

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