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SIGN SWINDLERS: Pinner PCSO warns of parking scams targeting motorists

 Published on: 11th December 2023   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Pinner Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) has warned Pinner residents to keep aware of potential scammers operating in supermarket car parks this Christmas season.

Following reports of a narrow escape for one resident at Sainsbury’s car park, PCSO Lee O’Brien of the Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team is giving advice on how to avoid this type of crime.

He said: “Although it is the season of goodwill, I encourage readers – especially those who are elderly – to be wary of anyone offering assistance with parking-related matters in car parks and anywhere that ticket machines are present.

“Many supermarkets and other businesses use ANPR cameras to register vehicles entering/exiting their car parks, and anyone overstaying the advertised maximum time period will receive a ticket in the post.

“Part of preventing yourself from becoming a scam victim is to refer to signage, usually located by parking machines, to familiarise yourself with how payment for a particular car park/street parking bay is made.”

PCSO O’Brien said that scammers may even dress in a specific type of clothing to make them appear more genuine, such as a hi-visibility jacket and/or a lanyard.

He added: “If anyone believes they are dealing with a scammer, I encourage them to call the non-emergency 101 number. A genuine parking attendant/traffic enforcement officer will happily wait for police to attend and confirm their identification, whereas a scammer will make a hasty exit.”

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