A VULNERABLE pensioner has been targeted by tricksters who gave her a fake parking fine.
Patricia Hutchinson, 67, from Elm Avenue, Warton, who has problems with her mobility, parked on Hill Street, South Shore, on Halloween and displayed her blue badge allowing her to park in the restricted spaces.
However, when she returned to her car in the dark after shopping all day, she was shocked to find a parking fine had been put on her windscreen.
Mrs Hutchinson told The Gazette: “I have parked there for a number of years with my blue badge, but when I came back to the car there was a penalty notice there.
“It gave me such a shock when I walked up to the car because I thought ‘what have I done’.”
Due to the darkness, Mrs Hutchinson had to drive back to her home in Warton before she could inspect the ticket. She then spent the rest of her evening calling the police and Blackpool Council to find out the reason she had been given a ticket, only to be told it was a fake.
Mrs Hutchinson added: “I looked at it properly when I got home and the wording said it was a penalty charge and should not be ignored.
“The policeman told me it wasn’t a real ticket and he had seen them somewhere in a joke shop.
“If they are using this as a joke, I didn’t find it funny.
“It gives you a nasty shock when you see something like that on your car.”
Coun Fred Jackson, the cabinet member for streets and transport, today hit out at the pranksters.
He said: “Somebody has placed a fake parking ticket on Mrs Hutchinson’s car as a joke.
“But this clearly wasn’t funny and has actually been quite upsetting for her.
“If you receive a penalty charge notice on a car, we advise you always check both your car registration and the name of the local authority is printed on the ticket.
“If they aren’t, the chances are it will be a fake.
“If there’s any doubt, Customer First can be contacted on (01253) 477477 for further advice.”