Someone Is Using Fake Parking Tickets To “Rickroll” North Carolina Drivers

Image courtesy of

When you get a parking ticket, you’re probably ready to curse The Man and all the rules he uses to cage you and bring you down. But if you recently got a parking citation in Asheville, N.C., you might be chuckling instead, after The Man turns out to be Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” and you realize you’ve been “Rickrolled.”

Asheville’s Transportation Director says someone downtown has been handing out fake parking tickets for $100, reports That’s strange in itself, as the city’s usual fine for such a citation is only $10.

Another strange thing? The tickets have a QR code on them that, when scanned, play Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The city doesn’t use QR codes, officials say, and thus far, Rickrolling has not proven an efficient means of levying parking violations.

“It was kind of surprising to go to a link for a YouTube video, and then when I went it was featuring some rock star that I didn’t know who it was,” Asheville’s Transportation Director Ken Putnam told the news site.

One person brought their ticket to City Hall and tried to pay, he added, and was told that the ticket was bogus. In a second incident, a parking officer found a fake ticket, and realized “Hey, I didn’t issue this one.”

“When someone first glances at the citation it does look official, but there are some key things when you start looking at it,” Putnam said, noting things like that out-of-place QR code, the ticket’s large size, fake officer ID, and bogus violation code.

Though the idea of Rickrolling strangers might be humorous to anyone who’s ever Rickrolled someone or been Rickrolled, the city is not amused by the prank.

“It causes us extra work, causes aggravation for our citizens, and I really think somebody’s doing it for a prank,” the city’s parking services manager told the news station.

Police can only charge whoever is doing this with littering, but if that person then pays the fine, the charges will become more serious.

Did you enjoy this? We’re a non-profit! You can get more stories like this in our twice weekly ad-free newsletter! Click here to sign up.

Bogus parking tickets surface in Downtown Asheville []

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.