Beware parking meter con

Published: Thursday, July 8, 2021

As the borough gets busier post-lockdown, the council's parking and community safety teams have received several new reports of parking meter bank card fraud. 

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The scam involves fraudsters distracting the victim and stealing their credit or debit card, which they then pretend has been swallowed up by the machine. 

The fraudsters then pretend to ring the number on the parking machines to report the card being swallowed. Another scammer is on the phone and claims an operative will come out to investigate the issue in 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile the victim’s bank card is used to withdraw hundreds of pounds.

Motorists are reminded that it is impossible for parking machines to retain bank cards. Pay and Display machines are manufactured so that cards can only be inserted part of the way. If your card goes missing, you have been a victim of fraud and should immediately cancel your card.

If anyone approaches you when you go to pay for parking, please be cautious and never insert your card into a parking machine when someone you do not know is present. The fraudsters often target older residents. If you know an older driver, please warn them to be careful. 

The council has an alternative method of paying online or by phone that means you do not have to use cash or credit cards. Find out more.  

If you have been a victim of fraud, please cancel your card and contact Action Fraud on

In an emergency call 999 or report a crime by calling 101 or online at