Police in the Brussels-South zone around the south station have advised anyone whose parked car appears to have been clamped for supposed unlawful parking to notify them. A gang of fake parking wardens is apparently operating in the area, with the intention of defrauding motorists of the fees for removing the clamp.
Authentic police and registered parking stewards in Brussels do use wheel clamps to immobilise vehicles parked unlawfully until the owners pay a fine. But few people can real the real wardens from the false, which allows the crooks to force payments from drivers who have done nothing wrong.
The phenomenon appeared at the same time as the Midi Fair, which takes up a great number of spaces usually used for parking. The fraudsters saw their chance, and decided to profit from those motorists who parked illegally elsewhere than usual – as well as others who were doing nothing wrong, according to a spokesperson for the police zone.
A related scam has the fraudsters promise to watch over someone’s car in return for payment, while those who refuse often come back to find their vehicle damaged.
No arrests have yet been made, but motorists who come in contact with either of the two scams are encouraged to report them to the police.