Drivers are urged to be aware of a parking scam as an increasing number of criminals target cashless payment systems.
Motorists are increasingly paying for parking spaces using their phones, with cash payments being phased out.
Some car parks operate a QR barcode reading system similar to those that became widespread during the Covid pandemic.
Fraudsters target these systems as they attempt to steal money and personal data from unsuspecting victims.
Anthony Cashel, of paybyphone, a global mobile parking app, said the scam was becoming “more widespread”.
Earlier this month, Isle of Wight Council warned fraudsters had targeted a car park with a fake QR code disguised as a ‘quick pay’ option.
The council said it was checking payment meters after a woman had money stolen from her bank account.
She had attempted to pay for her parking using a fake code stuck to a payment machine and was alerted to the fraud by her credit card company, the council said.
Katherine Hart of Trading Standards also said the scam was “very” on the rise.
She told the Telegraph fake QR codes are “another way to harvest data or phish personal information and steal our money”.
“This type of scam often targets the younger generation who are more likely to use their smartphones to make payments,” she added.
Ms Hart urged anyone paying by QR code to only use it if ‘you are sure’ it is legit
“If in doubt, use the phone number which should be posted in a prominent place,” she said.
“Ask yourself if the company really needs your personal data.”
Paybyphone, which operates payment systems in car parks across the UK, told the Telegraph scam takes scam activity very seriously.
He said anyone using the system should download the paybyphone app directly from its app store.