Was There an Issue with a Parking Meter in Downtown Lafayette?
Downtown Lafayette plays host to tons of festivals, events, and everyday dining and destinations for fun. One of the things that most people think about before heading downtown is where will I park.
According to CEO and President of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, Anita Begnaud says there is plenty of parking in the area. There are two parking garages, Parc Auto Du Centre-Ville at 121 East Vermilion Street and the Buchanan Street Parking Garage at 835 South Buchanan Street.
Many people like to look for metered parking on the streets. The city of Lafayette has plenty of space for metered parking which you can pay for by using coins, your credit card, or the ParkMobile App. In addition to the city of Lafayette street parking, there is also parking in the Rosa Park Transportation Center and the city-owned lot at the corner of Garfield and Jefferson Street.
Begnaud says there are several other things to keep in mind when parking downtown. There are multiple PRIVATE lots that allow for paid parking that is only controlled by that property owner and not the city of Lafayette.
Most important, whether you click on a QR code, or use another other form of payment, make sure you are looking at the web destination it goes to. Make sure it is the true ParkMobile website and or app, as you don't want to get scammed.
TV 10 reported on the experience of a mother and daughter parking in downtown Lafayette. Officials with the Better Business Bureau say they unfortunately are familiar with this type of scam.
Modern technology allows us access to so many conveniences, and one of those conveniences is being about to scan a QR code to pay for things like parking. The problem comes in when scammers work to get your information so they can buy what they want.
CEO and President of the BBB Chris Babin says this type of scam can happen anywhere at any time. You have to be very careful when buying goods and services at any point of sale. Whether you are inserting your credit card into any machine, or you are using a QR code to pay for goods and services, do not give any information unless you know the site is legitimate.
What happened in the case of the mother and daughter, is the daughter used a QR code for parking in the downtown area. The next day they received a delivery of $788 worth of items from Wal-mart! The mother thinks there was some type of scamming device at that particular parking spot that was looking to steal car information. Again, this can happen at anytime anywhere.
Babin has spoken to us repeatedly in the past about how scammers will fake websites that look almost exactly like real ones. You give these scammers your information, and they can steal from you. The same can happen with QR codes. Someone can create a QR code and post it anywhere they want. That's why you have to be careful.
Anytime you use a device or website, it can be a risk. Babin advises you to make sure the website you are giving your information to is legitimate.
The mother and daughter telling their story is a good way for all of us to remember that you have to be careful with QR codes, websites, credit cards, and debit cards no matter where you are. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated each day, and all they do all day long is try to figure out ways to scam hard-working people.
Even as I am typing this story, I just received an email scam claiming I have a "Notice to Appear in Court" from my attorney Vincent Gambino Baker. The name Vincent Gambino is a character from the movie, "My Cousin Vinny". Had I clicked on this, someone could have then downloaded Malware on my computer to help them get their hands on my money and personal information.
So, again, no matter where you are, you have to keep your head on a swivel, and always proceed with caution when you are going to pay for something. Scammers are ruthless people.