Investigation reveals valet-parking meter scam is costing driver

Investigation reveals valet-parking meter scam is costing drivers

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There's a parking scam in Chicago involving valet parking services, and it could make your evening out a lot more expensive than you thought.

Valets are supposed to use off-street lots or garages when they park guests' vehicles. But if they can't find a spot on the street, it turns out they will use a spot that requires payment. A Chicago Tribune investigation found that instead of putting money in the meters, some valets have been using fake parking receipts.

If parking attendants notice the fake receipt, they write the car owner a ticket and place it under the windshield wiper. But the Tribune's findings show some of the valets simply throw the ticket away. Drivers never know they were issued the citation and then a few weeks later get surprised with a fine from City Hall in the mail, for "not paying" the ticket.

FOX 32 News broke down the numbers for you. A parking ticket for an expired meter in the non-central business district and parking in a closed city lot will cost you $50. A parking ticket for an expired meter in Chicago's central business district will cost you $65.

Drivers have 21 days from the date of decision to pay the ticket before it doubles. The City of Chicago's official website says if you want to contest a ticket, you can call the parking ticket help line at 312.744.7275.

The city can walk you through the process of how to contest the tickets and can review the citation, but it is typically a lengthy process.

It's important to note that what these valets are doing is obviously illegal. But city parking enforcement can only write tickets for unpaid or expired meter fees - not for using fake receipts.

The only way to crack down on this problem as of right now, would be to use undercover cops.

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