HOUSTON – A Houston Astros fan said he was duped into paying for parking by someone who was not an employee.
A man who only wanted to be identified as James told KPRC2 he had tickets to the Astros game Sunday.
It all started when he parked at a lot on Franklin near Minute Maid Park. He said the man who waived him into the lot looked legitimate.
"He motioned me, and three cars in front of me, to park here, park here, park here," James said.
He even was given a receipt.
"I handed the fella $20," James said. "He tore this off from a package of tickets he was holding."
But when he went back to his car after the game, James' car was booted and he had a ticket stuck to his window. It was for a $128 and change. A boot removal employee was not surprised.
"The gentleman that removes boots came out 20 minutes later, told us that this kind of thing happens all the time," James said.
Turns out, the man James paid was not a parking lot attendant and his parking receipt was not the real deal.
James said he wasn't the only fan who was tricked.
"It happened to at least six people," he said.
There was another clue. There were signs around the lot that read, 'Pay machine in corner of lot.' But James figured the lot had more people on duty that day.
"I paid numerous parking lots over the years where the same thing happens," James said. "They tell you where to park. They take your money, it speeds up the time to go inside."
James said he's learned his lesson and hopes others learn from his story.
"Don't trust the attendant just because they're waving a flag," James said. "If there are posted signs pay attention to them. This won't happen to me again."
James told KPRC2 he would like the parking lot company to ensure that other customers don't get duped. Police told him he had to take up the issue with the parking company.
James said he called the company, but has not heard back. KPRC2 also called and has not heard back.