A 19-year-old man is suspected of leaving fake parking tickets on cars in Santa Cruz, with a QR code directing them to a website for payment, police said.

Santa Cruz police received reports that the fraudulent citations were left on cars parked in the beach area on Wednesday evening. While investigating the scam the following day, officers found the suspect in that area.

They searched his car and found “evidence relevant to the scam,” said a police news release. The man, who is from Watsonville, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful use of a computer system and attempted fraud.

It is not known how many tickets the scammer distributed or whether anybody submitted money to the website, police said. Detectives asked that anyone who received such a ticket contact them at (831) 420-5820.

If you have any questions regarding the validity of a ticket, call the city parking office, (831) 420-6100.

Fake and real tickets
A fraudulent ticket, at left, and a legitimate one. (Santa Cruz police) 


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