The City of Houston is urging the public to be aware of a scam involving fraudulent QR codes being affixed to on-street parking pay stations. These fraudulent QR codes link to a non-City-affiliated website or a fake vendor.
A QR code (quick response code) is a two-dimensional barcode that when scanned by a mobile device can almost instantly link the user to a wide variety of information.
In the past three weeks, parking enforcement officers in both San Antonio and Austin discovered fraudulent QR codes affixed to on-street parking pay stations.
While fraudulent codes have not yet been seen in Houston, ParkHouston urges residents to be aware and educate themselves on proper payment methods.
The City of Houston DOES NOT use QR codes on any on-street parking pay stations, nor do they accept payments through QR codes.
The City of Houston accepts four means of payment for parking: coins, bills, or credit card at a ParkHouston pay station, or by using the ParkHouston app. ParkHouston urges residents to be aware and educate friends and colleagues on proper payment methods.
ParkHouston’s team is continuing to inspect the City’s more than 900 pay stations to ensure there are no QR codes affixed. Anyone who sees someone tampering with a pay station and is not a badged City of Houston employee should call 9-1-1. If you see a QR code of any kind on a pay station, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3-1-1.