Saint Johners warned about text-message parking scam

A screenshot shared by Saint John Mayor Donna Reardon shows a text scam that some people have received that says they need to pay for parking 'infraction.' (Donna Reardon/X - image credit)

People in Saint John are being advised about a scam targeting them for parking fees.

Mayor Donna Reardon posted on X, formerly Twitter, warning city residents about it.

"We've been made aware of parking customers receiving fraudulent text messages saying that they have outstanding parking tickets," Reardon said.

"Those who have clicked the link to pay for the tickets have had their bank accounts drained."

Reardon was unable to be reached for an interview Monday, and it is unclear how many people were victims of the scam.

She added that the city "does not collect fines or notify you of overdue tickets by text message."

Her post included a screenshot of the text, which said that an infraction is overdue and must be settled.

Police warn about clicking links in texts, emails

Matthew Weir with the Saint John Police Force said they only just became aware of the scam on Monday. He said that the message and links sent to people are made to "look legitimate."

"We would caution everyone to look at what the link is and not click on links that come through text messages, or email for that matter," Weir said.

"It's always important to verify the websites that you're going to."

Weir echoed Reardon's comment that the city does not collect fines or notify of fines via text message. He added that people should reach out to police if they have concerns.

Regardless, it's not uncommon for police to see scams like this, he said.

"There's different ways that they try to do it," Weir said of text and email scams.

"You always have to be cautious of links when they're sent to your device or your email or clicking on those and where they might go."