Bogus attendants scamming people at downtown Seattle parking lots



Posted on December 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 11:16 PM

SEATTLE -- Bogus parking attendants scamming people is becoming a bigger problem during the holidays. The scheme isn’t only hurting people, but also, area businesses.

Victims lose money and could get a ticket, but downtown businesses will also suffer because people don’t want to deal with the problem.

“Maybe I looked like I was an out of Towner or something,” said Nancy Anderson, who was approached by a suspicious person Tuesday night.

The Issaquah resident was meeting family downtown. She pulled into a parking lot off 3rd Ave, when a man posing as a parking attendant flagged her down.

“He said I’ll put the money in the machine for you which didn’t sound right. Right away, I rolled up my window, said no thank you and parked the car. The machine ended up working just fine,” said Anderson.

U-Park, which owns the lot where it happened, says this common scam only intensifies during the holiday shopping season. They call these imposters “Pretendents.”

“They prey upon unsuspecting customers, customers from out of town and intercept them before they get to the pay station,” said Ken Phillips Jr.,U-Park System Vice President.

Nearby Dahlia Lounge and Lola restaurants constantly get complaints from customers.

“They’re just trying to make victims out of our customers. It’s not good for downtown. People don’t want to come back,” said Phillips Jr.

According to U-Park, if there’s a parking attendant on site, they’ll more than still ask you to use a payment machine.

If in doubt, call U-Park or if you feel threatened, call police.

“If it doesn’t seem right, just say no thank you,” said Anderson.