Warning to travellers over 'meet and greet' car park scam
- Credit: Archant
Holidaymakers using secure parking services offered by bogus companies are returning to find unexpected mileage, damage and contents theft from their cars.
Norfolk County Council Trading Standards has issued a warning about such scams as it's something "a string of complaints" are made about every year.
A notice said: "As preparations are made for some to jet away for their summer holidays, we would like to remind you to do your research on the company that you use to park your car at the airport.
"Meet and greet services are quick and easy, and often take the stress out of your travel plans. The services involve meeting a company representative at an airport and then handing over the keys. The firms take the car away and bring it back on the traveller's return to the airport.
"However, each year we receive a string of complaints from travellers who have unwittingly used a bogus company, and have returned from their holiday to find unexpected mileage, damage and content theft."
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In the past, claims of secure parking have actually turned out to be cars parked in fields or a street close to the airport.
Trading Standards added: "There are so many things to arrange when you are going on holiday that it is easy to look at car parking online and concentrate on price or availability rather than reading the small print.
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"If you look closely some companies offering 'meet and greet' services do not have full contact details on their websites so you have no way of making contact if you have a complaint."
Advice to avoid being swindled includes visiting the airport's official website, which will have links to approved airport parking sites, and booking in advance to compare different options and prices.
If you do choose a meet and greet service without booking in advance, make sure to use a reputable company, one whose name you recognise if possible.
And when leaving your car, make sure to keep any valuables which may attract potential thieves out of sight.