Keeping Asheville weird: Bogus parking tickets discovered in downtown Asheville— Updated with a twist

Creative revenue-generating scam: the bogus ticket

Update March 4, 4:50 p.m.: The city of Asheville gets “Rickrolled.” In a fun twist that no one checked at first, the QR code on the fake parking tickets doesn’t ask for money, and yet it doesn’t give you up or let you down either.

The latest news from the city of Asheville:

Someone is handing out bogus parking citations in downtown Asheville. Two were discovered today, once when a person who received the alleged citation contacted Asheville Parking Services, and another time when a parking enforcement officer noticed one on a car and removed it.

The false citations have the City of Asheville logo on them, making them look official, said Harry Brown, Parking Services Manager.

They also have QR codes on them. “That’s a dead giveaway,” said Brown. “Our citations do not have QR codes on them.”

The false tickets also sport alarmingly high fines on them, much higher fines than the City of Asheville charges. The false ticket says due now: $100 with a late charge of $200. The actual fine for overtime parking is $10.

Authentic City of Asheville citations also have an orange stripe across the top above the word PARKING CITATION.

If anyone believes they’ve received a bogus parking ticket call Asheville Parking Services at 828-259-5759. For more information about parking in the City of Asheville visit,

Accept no substitutes: An official, authentic city of Asheville parking ticket.
Accept no substitutes: An official, authentic city of Asheville parking ticket.
About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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3 thoughts on “Keeping Asheville weird: Bogus parking tickets discovered in downtown Asheville— Updated with a twist

  1. Dan

    Hey, if you scan the barcode, it’s just a link to Youtube — RICKROLL!! LOL, this is actually pretty hilarious, not a revenue generating scam at all.

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