Drivers are falling victim to scams involving fake online parking payment websites, Which? has warned.
An investigation by the consumer champion found an increasing number of fake adverts for popular parking apps appearing near the top of online search results.
The fake sites impersonate popular parking payment apps to trick drivers into giving away their payment details.
Some sites were seen to offer a “free download” but hide small print at the bottom of their websites revealing charges of £24.99 a month.
Which? said it had seen adverts impersonating JustPark, PayByPhone and RingGo on Google search results – all of which appeared at the top of the search, above the genuine websites for the companies.
It also said it had seen similar fake websites used to trick drivers looking to pay ULEZ charges.
Which? urged people to instead download apps from the official Apple or Google Play app stores.
It said it warned Google about an advertiser impersonating a parking app company and the search giant said it had “taken action,” but the same website was still operating at the top of Google search results months later.
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Far more examples of fake adverts were found on Google than other search engines, though Which? warned “rogue advertising is everywhere”.
Google said it removes adverts that violate its policies and under its misrepresentation policy it does not allow ads that deceive users by excluding relevant product information or providing misleading information.
(c) Sky News 2023: Drivers falling victim to fake online parking payment websites, Which? warns