Phony parking lot attendant making rounds downtown

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A parking attendant impersonator is making the rounds in Downtown Memphis.

Memphis Police have arrested already one man for pretending to be a parking attendant, but after talking to people downtown Friday, you can be sure there are others like him lurking in lots looking to steal your money.

Joy McBroom parked in a lot near FedExForum recently and was scammed by a phoney parking attendant.
"The guy had on the same clothes as the people working in the lot, but he wasn't affiliated with the lot at all, and he took my $5," McBroom said.

McBroom wondered if the man who ripped her off was Earl Jackson.  Memphis Police arrested Jackson downtown earlier this week, charging him with impersonating a parking attendant at least three times.

Parking attendant Melvin Washington makes sure his customers know he is legit.
"(I) Let them know who I am, who do I work for, and I got my badge here to prove, to show them," Washington said.

The best way to avoid being ripped is to park in a garage that issues time-stamped tickets and has a parking attendant that takes your cash on the way out.

Unattended lots with automated machines are your next best bet.   
Earl Jackson probably is not the first - and will not be the last - to be charged with pretending to be a parking attendant.

In the meantime, before you hand over money for a spot in a lot, make sure the person on the receiving end is the real deal

Legimate parking attendants say they have to run off phoney attendants quite often downtown, and they say a real parking attendant shouldn't mind if you ask for some sort of ID.

Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.