After paying downtown parking attendant, woman gets ticket anyway

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Turn to Ted: Parking lot scam (KTRK)

A mom and daughter say they want to warn others about a trickster downtown who is going all out to fool people as they park.

They turned to investigative reporter Ted Oberg after paying the trickster for parking, then getting a ticket anyway.

While it's not a new scam, it's something that pops up from time to time and is easy to fall for. Tiffany and Maddie Galvan are still curious why the lot pays someone to come out and write tickets but doesn't pay someone to chase off fraudsters.

The Galvans just wanted to enjoy the cat show at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

"We were driving around looking for street parking," Tiffany said.
They finally found a lot and a guy all dressed up in a reflective vest collecting money and handing out receipts.

"He was standing right there at the entrance to the parking," Tiffany said. "He actually was motioning people to come in."

But the guy had no connection to the lot at all. What he did have was a shiny vest, some fake tickets and a wad of cash. When the Galvans came back to their car, they realized they'd be scammed.

The tickets: $75 for two cars. The lot's owners collect money from a meter, not from an attendant.

"If they had somebody on standby to write tickets, they should have somebody monitoring the lot to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Parking Revenue Recovery Services, the company that manages the lot, did reduce the two $75 tickets to $25 a piece, but took no responsibility for the pretender.

In a statement, they told us this is a public safety issue, not a business one.

"The parking lots have numerous signs that direct customers to pay the station in advance."

We checked and only found one sign.

There's no warning to avoid attendants.

"If you are a victim of this crime, we encourage you to contact the Houston Police Department," the statement continued.

The company claims it reports the problems to HPD.

We checked and HPD had no reports at this address for months.

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