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How to appeal a ticket
How to appeal a parking ticket

Fake Parking Ticket – Avoid Getting Scammed

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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.

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· Mar 1st, 2024
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fake parking ticket

Have you found a parking ticket on your windscreen or in your post that seems a bit fishy? Each month, over 32,000 visitors turn to this site for help with tickets and fines.

In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  • How to spot a fake parking ticket.
  • Steps to take if you get a fake parking ticket.
  • How to appeal a real parking ticket.
  • The risk of ignoring a real parking ticket.
  • Where to seek more help if needed.

Our team has guided many people in your shoes, so we know how it feels to get a ticket and not be sure if it’s real or not. We’re here to help you figure everything out.

Let’s get started and learn how to deal with a suspicious parking ticket.

Do You Have to Pay?

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor feeds, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

Chat below to get started with JustAnswer

In partnership with Just Answer.

How do you know if a parking ticket is real?

The problem is that many parking tickets are in circulation, which are totally fake. Recognising a real Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) from one sent by a scammer can be challenging. Why? Because the fake fines can look so real!

So, check if you actually committed a parking or traffic offence. For example, were you parked illegally, or did you fail to pay? Maybe you committed a minor traffic violation or drove in a bus lane?

The penalty charge could be fake if you don’t think you committed a violation!

The ticket could be left on your car, or you could receive a PCN in the mail. But, of course, you’d know the parking ticket is fake if the fine was sent by email!

Local councils and other authorities or private operators NEVER send out penalty charges by email.

If you find the penalty charge on your windscreen, check the details on the ticket. But never call the number provided. Instead, you should check with the ‘real’ issuers by getting their details from their official websites!

Was the Penalty Charge Notice sent by email?

As mentioned, no authorities or private car park management companies ever send parking tickets by email. It just doesn’t happen.

That said, there have been reports of scammers sending motorists parking tickets via email. An example is a PCN that pretends to be sent by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service. But, again, this just never happens.

The fraudsters want you to click on a link in the email so they can steal your bank/credit card details!

Never click on a link!

You should always check emails you receive pretending to be from authorities or private operators. You’ll spot spelling mistakes and other errors, which could include things like:

  • Obvious spelling mistakes
  • The sender’s email address is just wrong (you can check the address by visiting the real issuer’s website)

A fraudster won’t use an authority’s or private operator’s actual email address!

Successful Appeal Case Study


Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

What should you do when you get a fake parking ticket?

You should check with the real issuer when you suspect a penalty charge notice is fake. For example, the penalty charge you get could say it’s from a local council. In this instance, visit the council’s website to see if the email on the PCN matches the council’s email address.

If the emails don’t match, the PCN you received is FAKE.

You should report the incident to Action Fraud immediately. All that’s needed is to forward the fake email to [email protected].

You can also forward the fraudster’s email to The National Cyber Security Centre.

As mentioned, Never click on links in a fake parking ticket email you get. But if you click on a link by mistake, contact your bank immediately!

What about fake parking tickets left on your windscreen?

Unfortunately, people can buy fake parking tickets all too easily online! Sold as jokes, these fake PCNs cause much stress and anxiety to unsuspecting motorists. 

Things go badly wrong, and the consequences can be dire!

Whenever you suspect a fake parking ticket is left on your windscreen, check with the real issuer before doing anything else!

Getting the support of a Solicitor can take a huge weight off your mind.

Get started

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What about fake parking tickets you get in the post?

A fake parking ticket may land in your letterbox. Before you do anything:

  1. Check with the actual issuer to ensure the fine is genuine.
  2. Never pay or contact the details on the parking ticket.
  3. Always check with the real issuer first!

What about parking tickets issued to other motorists?

Although not a fake parking ticket, you may find another motorist stuck a fine on your car. It may not be fake, but it can be very distressing. So, before doing anything, check that the parking ticket details match your details.

And if they don’t, chuck the fine away because it’s not your problem but the motorist who got the ticket!

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

What should you do with a fake parking ticket?

Always report a suspected fake parking ticket whether you get the fine in the post, by email or the ticket is left on your car! Never click on any links, or call details found on the parking ticket.

You can also check whether a penalty charge notice is fake or not by challenging the fine. Just visit the gov.uk website and type in the postcode where the offence claims to have been committed and registration details. If nothing comes up, the parking ticket is fake!

Thanks for reading this post about fake parking tickets! It’s always better to be cautious when you receive a fine. Plus, it makes sense to check the details before doing anything else. After all, nobody likes getting a parking ticket, and if there’s a chance it’s fake, all the better!

So, how do you avoid paying a fake parking ticket?

To avoid paying a fake parking ticket by mistake, first, see who issued the parking ticket. Then, contact them directly if it’s from a private car park management company or an official authority.

Don’t call the number on the parking ticket. Instead, always find the private operator’s number online. 

Contact the authority directly if the parking ticket claims to be from a local council or other authority. Never use the contact details on the fake parking ticket!

You should also check if the parking ticket has your car registration on it, not another motorist. Never assume the parking ticket is yours and that it’s genuine. 

Always err on the side of caution and assume the fine is a fake!

Hire a Parking Solicitor for less than a coffee.

If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket then getting some professional advice is a good idea.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.

For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.


Get started

In partnership with Just Answer.

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The authors
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My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.