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      Bogus parking tickets surface in Downtown Asheville

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      ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Asheville's Transportation Director says somebody downtown has been giving people fake parking tickets. Parking downtown this weekend could be tough. The city expects 20,000 people visiting for the SoCon tournament.

      The fake tickets were for $100, while the city's normal fine is only $10. The city wants to stop whoever is behind it. The police say they can only charge the person with littering. If a person pays the fine, then the charges get more serious.

      When it comes to tickets that are fake, the city is being frank.

      "It causes us extra work, causes aggravation for our citizens, and I really think somebody's doing it for a prank," said Harry Brown, Parking Services Manager.

      One person took a ticket to City Hall and tried to pay.

      "We told them. Hey, this is not ours," said Ken Putnam, Asheville's Transportation Director.

      A parking officer found a second fake ticket.

      "He knew he hadn't issued it," said Brown.

      Putnam says some thought went into making these tickets.

      "When someone first glances at the citation it does look official, but there are some key things when you start looking at it," said Putnam.

      The ticket is physically larger. It was dated Friday, March, 5th when it was the 4th. It had a fake officer ID and made up violation code. The ticket also had a QR code for smart phones to scan. The city's tickets do not have QR codes.

      "It was kind of surprising to go to a link for a YouTube video, and then when I went it was featuring some rock star that I didn't know who it was," said Putnam.

      When you scan the code, it goes to a music video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."

      "Oh, they're Rickrolling with tickets? That's atrocious. We got past the 80's, I thought. That's pretty bad. It's a waste of time," said one person downtown visiting from Atlanta.

      There's no real way to pay these fake tickets, but Brown doesn't find it funny.

      "I think it's just an aggravation, and somebody you know, wanting to get a little publicity, or say ha ha," said Brown.

      Call Asheville Parking Services if you think you've received a bogus citation.

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