How To Stay Safe From Parking Lot Scams and Dangers

scams found in parking lots

Parking lots can be a dangerous place to be. Not only can it be dangerous to be in the parking lot in the first place, but it can also be dangerous to try and find a parking lot without getting scammed. If you’re worried about the dangers of parking lots or you’re trying to park your car without getting scammed, here are four things you can do to make sure you’re not scammed or put in danger.

1. Don’t Linger in Parking Lots for Too Long

Parking lots are not an area where you should stay for very long. If you stay too long in a parking lot, you run the risk of ending up having a scary experience. Here are some things you should try to avoid doing in a parking lot:

  • Sitting with your car door open
  • Looking up directions
  • Talking on the phone
  • Talking to people in your car

As upsetting as it may be, parking lots are one of the prime places for carjacking and robbery. If you need to have a conversation or look up directions, do it either before you leave or after you arrive at the place you’re going.

2. Be Careful of the “Parking Attendant” You Entrust Your Car To

It’s a scam as old as time: You pull up to an event, location or parking lot, and you see a parking attendant that’s requesting money to park there. You give the attendant your money, and you may even hand over your keys, and you end up coming back later to no car and no attendant. Turns out, the attendant was actually a scammer.

Any reputable event or parking lot that has a parking attendant should have clearly marked signs, and they should also list this information on their website. Avoid giving your keys to parking attendants unless the website clearly says there’s a valet and you’ve confirmed with the location that the valet is genuine.

3. Make Sure You Ask for a Receipt When You Make a Payment

Most scammers are not well versed enough to be able to give you a receipt upon payment. They’re not thinking you’re going to ask for one; they’re assuming you’re just going to pay without question. If they’re good enough at scamming that they’re able to provide a receipt upon request, they’re probably going to be trying for bigger marks, not people looking for a place to park.

This is one of the reasons it’s good form to ask for a receipt after payment. If they won’t give you a receipt, the receipt doesn’t have the amount you paid, or you’re worried about any part of the process, you might want to look for a different place to park.

4. Check the Authenticity of All Parking Tickets

No one likes coming back to their car to see a parking ticket on the windshield. However, that frustration can cause you to pay the ticket blindly, not even checking to see whether the ticket is genuine. In some cases, you may also get a notification of a “lawyer” you can call to “lower your payment,” promising that the often high requested payment doesn’t have to be as bad as it looks. This is where PeopleFinders can help.

Most of the time, these numbers are completely bogus and are actually scams. How can you be certain? Simply perform a PeopleFinders reverse phone lookup. You can look up the phone number and see whether it belongs to the person who claims the number on the business card or whether it’s a number that’s been marked as a scam.


Staying safe in parking lots can be easy if you do it right. It’s not always easy to learn about staying safe in a parking lot, but there are plenty of ways you can do it. Whether you’re avoiding scammers at the parking window or you’re trying to keep yourself safe while you’re physically in the lot, remember that the tools at PeopleFinders can help you stay safe. 

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