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LetterToTheEditor Downtown Knoxville motorists beware

Dear Editor:

I want to make you aware of a situation in downtown Knoxville that I feel will effect the ongoing development and reviving of the downtown area. I and approximately 20-30 other citizens were a victim of a scam at a downtown parking lot near Market Square.

I want to make you and other Knoxville citizens aware of this scam at local Knoxville pay parking lots near Market Square. I took my family to Market Square for lunch this Saturday, May 8, and was told by a person posing as a parking lot attendant he was collecting $5 for special events parking. He was wearing a money pouch and T-shirt and baseball hat, and told us since there was a special event in the area, we paid him instead of the normal meter which prints out a ticket. This individual had his routine down pat.

Well, when we got back to our car, there was an envelope with a fine for not paying our parking fee for the day. We talked to a parking attendant at a nearby lot working with same company, and he said this was an ongoing problem and they have been trying to catch this guy posing as a parking attendant for special events for several weeks.

The message to the Knoxville public should be that all parking attendants should have shirts and ID proving they work for the parking lot, and tickets to put in your window, even if it is special event parking. The parking company we dealt with was Central Parking Systems. We saw at least 15 cars with envelopes for parking fines that were scammed just like we were.

Please look into this matter and inform others so they are not scammed. The parking lot owners do not seem concerned because they get paid more than they would for violations than if everyone paid normal parking fees. We spoke with two representatives from Central parking who did not seem concerned that we had this problem.

Thanks for looking into this and making others aware of this scam. I would hate to see others have the same bad feeling about going downtown when it is so easy for us to eat out west where we live and not be hassled by being scammed by individuals and dealing with pay parking lots.

Please use your authority to have this taken care of with plain clothed police on Saturday mornings downtown to stop these scams.


Todd Mundt



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