Concertgoers fall victim to downtown parking scam

Concertgoers saw their cars towed from a downtown parking lot.

Eyewitness News has learned of a parking lot rip-off that's costing people hundreds of dollars when they visit downtown Indianapolis for some events.

Erica Beasley had her concert tickets and had her car gassed up, ready to go.

"We were in a great mood," Beasley said.

She was driving downtown with her sister and friends for the Jill Scott concert at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They headed for a surface lot on the west side of Pennsylvania Street.

"I see a sign," Beasley said. "Says parking. There's a booth there and a gentleman in a uniform and on the back it says parking attendant."

She drove up to the man, handed him $20, as the sign said. But he told her the fee was only $10. She paid and he directed her to a parking space.

The group then headed in to enjoy the concert.

"It was great," Beasley said.

But it was not so great when she walked back to her car.

"I said to my sister, 'Where is my car?'," Beasley said.

It was at a north side tow yard.

"Soon as I called them, they said, 'Sorry, it's a scam'," said Beasley.

The tow yard hauled in her car and two others from the same lot Saturday night - all belonging to concertgoers and all taken by the man posing as a parking attendant.

It's happened before. We told you about the Colts fans towed from a lot south of Lucas Oil Stadium after a bunch of fans paid a fake attendant to park. He split with their cash.

Same scam went down last July and again in December. Police are looking for a suspect.

To protect yourself, police say look for ID on the attendant and make sure you get a receipt or stub.

"I said, 'Do I get a stub or anything?' He said, 'No, this lot is fine. I'm here'," said Beasley.

Experts say even if you've paid someone, read the signs before you park. People towed Saturday were parked in front of signs reading "Permit Parking Only."

Beasley says she'll have a better plan next time.

"I would probably just park in a parking garage with a computer, then I have a ticket," she said.