Bold, New Fake Parking Ticket Scam Running in San Francisco
An incredibly bold parking ticket scam has surfaced in San Francisco this week. The scammers allegedly left a fake parking citation on a windshield in San Francisco, and a photo of the fake ticket was posted as a PSA on the San Francisco subReddit on Thursday morning, May 4th, 2023.
The ticket looks somewhat legitimate at first, but it has many, many things wrong with it. What may have tipped off the would-be victim for starters was the date on the ticket “05/05/23”, ie. it was a date in the future. Another giveaway is the “$60.00” ticket amount, the fine for not paying a meter or overstaying your allotted time in San Francisco is $101 downtown and $98 for outside downtown. There are literally no parking violations that cost $60 in San Francisco.
Parking tickets in San Francisco are also issued by SFMTA, and not the “City of San Francisco”. But what is most brazen about this scam is the cloned SF Muni website they created to collect payments from their fake tickets.
The QR code on the ticket takes would-be victims to a website that mimics the official SFMTA site complete with SFMTA branding and even the proper links to their blog posts and other traffic information. A link that is not legitimate on the site is in the “Pay a Parking Ticket” link. section.
The fake SFMTA site looks nearly identical to the real site:
This scam site which links victims via the QR Code on the fake parking tickets is: “sfmta-project.vercel.app”.
Why these scammers went through the trouble of copying an entire website and setting up a payment system, but neglected to print parking tickets that looked real or charged accurate amounts for violations is bizarre.
We have reached out to SFMTA to notify them and ask for comment and will update this article when we receive a reply:
UPDATED 1pm 5/4/2023
SFMTA_Muni: “We’ve been notified by multiple people this morning and have seen the original Reddit post.
Our staff is aware & PCO’s have instructions to remove and report any false tickets they may come across.”
Yes. We've been notified by multiple people this morning and have seen the original Reddit post.
Our staff is aware & PCO's have instructions to remove and report any false tickets they may come across.
— SFMTA (@SFMTA_Muni) May 4, 2023
SFMTA is aware of the issue and has notified its Parking Control Officers of the problem and they will be on the lookout for fake tickets.
The ACTUAL SFMTA website can be found at: https://www.sfmta.com/
Accept no substitutes.