Alameda police warn of fake parking tickets popping up around town

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- In December, an Alameda woman got a parking violation. It sat around the house, until this week, when her husband brought the ticket to the police station, to pay up and try to avoid a late fee.

"At first glance, obviously you see something that says, violation $100, you're going to want to take care of that," said Lt. Ryan Derespini with the Alameda Police Department, who explained that, "upon further review, our records tech read the fine print, and the fine print says that it's clearly for entertainment purposes only."

ABC7 News reporter, Kate Larsen, asked East Bay residents if they thought fake citation was entertaining.

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"Right now in this moment, yes. But if I would have got it, maybe not," said Fatai Oshi-Ojuri, who would know, since his friend pulled a similar prank. "They put one of the Oakland parking ticket envelopes on my car. So when I came out, I was like 'oh no!' and then they text me, 'gotcha.'"

Funny business aside, Alameda police were quick to issue a warning about the hoax. Though Lt. Derespini says the phony ticket does not appear to be an attempt to collect money.

If not for the purposes of theft or fraud, then why? "It appears maybe a neighbor was fed up with the way this person was parking," explained Lt. Derespini, who said they have a lot of parking problems on their East Bay island.

The fake ticket says, "Please don't park in the no parking area", there's no specific mailing address, or identification numbers.

The same type of phony ticket is available for purchase online. But compared to the real deal parking tickets that Alameda P.D. showed ABC7, there are some discernible differences, that Oshi-Ojuri noticed right away.

"There are no citation numbers and there's nowhere telling you to report to a justice center or something of that nature where you'd have to pay."

Alameda P.D. says to contact them if you get a questionable ticket or are feeling tempted to ticket a nuisance neighbor yourself and need parking enforcement to issue a real parking fine.
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