A man who claimed to have been scammed by fake parking attendants at a concert at Victoria Warehouse has been fined heavily.
Tom Coulton, 37, and his partner went to the venue to see Jungle on September 17, as they live in Wigan, 20 miles away.
Since they had never been to the Stretford warehouse before, they decided to follow up with other vehicles attending the concert.
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Tom said they came across some yellow metal parking signs where it looked like many cars were moving in the same direction.
Other drivers appeared to be giving cash to two people wearing high-visibility jackets and directing people to park on the sidewalk.
Talking to the MEN, Tom said, “I think we paid a dime and paid the money directly to one of the guys.”
He said they were instructed to park on Pomona Strand – about a ten-minute walk from the venue – but were not given a parking ticket or any proof of purchase.
Tom said he had an “instinctual feeling” that something might not be right, so he decided to pull the so-called staff on his phone.
“For my own safety, I thought I’d videotape these guys. If it’s something dangerous, I don’t want to go crazy,” he said.
“We went to Congress and everything was fine. Everyone else was going out and packing their cars.”
Tom went home and thought nothing of it until he received a £70 parking ticket from Trafford Council last Thursday.
In the letter, he said he illegally parked on the double yellow line and did not pay the discounted amount during the 14-day grace period.
“We got a letter from Trafford Council with the parking fee and the exact time and date of the concert,” Tom said.
“They said we ignored the initial notification and we have 14 days to pay the full amount.
“But I didn’t get a letter from the city hall suggesting that the parking attendant came and fined the cars and the guys took them down to clear any doubts.
“We’ve appealed the fine online, but haven’t heard anything yet.”
Tom said he has since reported the ‘fraud’ to Greater Manchester Police and was given a crime reference number.
He said the incident “enraged him” and said he believed the men involved would gain several hundred pounds by evening.
“It was quite a long drive and there were lots of other cars parked there as well – maybe around 100,” he said.
“They were wearing high-visibility jackets but didn’t say anything on them.
“It made me very angry.”
A Trafford Council spokesperson said: “The city has taken a parking enforcement action on vehicles parked on the double yellow line on Pomona Strand on this date.
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“We will respond after reviewing objections and re-offer the discounted payment amount as needed.
“It is illegal for anyone to take cash to park on a public highway and the Council advises anyone who writes to report this to Greater Manchester Police.”
In another statement, a spokesperson added: “The city has received emails referring to people being asked to pay cash to park on the public highway.
“This is a Greater Manchester Police matter and should be reported to the GMP.”
Manchester Police has been contacted for comment.
Were you also a victim of this ‘fraud’? If available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.