Police warn drivers to beware of parking lot scammers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police warn drivers to beware of parking lot scammers

(WMC-TV) - Drivers looking for a place to park in Downtown Memphis this holiday weekend are urged to be on guard and be careful who they give their money to.

With the Memphis Tigers and Grizzlies in action this holiday season, police warned fans and revelers to beware of phony parking lot attendants.

"We've locked up several, several times for doing it and they keep coming back," said Lt. William Woodard with the Memphis Police Department.  "It's easy money.  People are gullible."

The fake lot attendants usually approach people telling them they owe $5 or $10 to park in a lot.

"The guys that are in ratty clothes, that smell bad and come up to you with tickets and you got to pay them, look at the ticket closely because it's probably going to be from a hospital parking lot or something other parking lot," said Woodard.  "They're just scamming for your money."

Cedric Merriweather with A-1 Security has been a parking lot attendant for two years.

"I think it's not fair because it makes it hard for people that's really doing the right thing," said Merriweather.  "They're also leaving the cars unprotected.  We're secured and everything."

Some signs downtown warn drivers that no parking lot attendant is on duty and that panhandlers should not be paid.  Other parking lots allow customers to insert their payment into a payment box.

Police urge motorists to always ask for ID from anyone who asks for money.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, they'll have on a shirt or an ID badge," said Woodard.

Police said posing as a parking lot attendant is a misdemeanor.

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