Ticket scheme hits UND
Who would issue fake parking tickets that suggest visiting a virus-laden Web site?
The UND Police Department doesn't know, but it's trying to find out who would carry out such an obnoxious scheme.
Bogus tickets have been found on vehicles in the lot directly east of the parking ramp at University Avenue and Columbia Road, Capt. Don Rasmuson said.
The tickets are yellow and say: "PARKING VIOLATION This vehicle is in violation of standard parking regulations. To view pictures with information about your parking preferences, go to HORRIBLEPARKING.COM."
Campus police warned Tuesday that visitors of this site who click on a link to see pictures of horrible parking will download a virus.
Junior Taylor Schlank got this warning too late.
Schlank noticed the ticket on his car and thought it was another bar flier advertising two-for-ones, but looking closer, he saw that he'd committed a "parking violation."
"So, I thought, 'Well, OK, if it's a parking violation, I need to go ahead and check this out,' " he said.
However, reading the Web address "horribleparking.com," Schlank figured out it was a gag. Then, out of curiosity, he went to the site, where he clicked on a link thinking he was downloading an application to view some examples of shoddy parking. But it turned out to be a computer-crippling virus.
Schlank said that after snow and ice melted in the lot where he was parked, his car was straddling yellow lines so it looked like he'd done a poor job parking. He said he thinks the ticket was poking fun at that.
The 21-year-old said he can take a gag, "but things like this, I don't consider socially responsible at all."
He said university tech support was able to cleanse his computer for no charge, and it doesn't look like any files were affected.
Schlank said he saw several other fake tickets in the same lot and has a friend who got a similar ticket, but he knows of no one else whose computer has been infected.
Schlank, who called campus police Saturday, was the first person to report a fake ticket, Rasmuson said, and since then, officers have come across four more.
Rasmuson said there also was a report Saturday of similar tickets showing up in the lot at Hugo's grocery store on Columbia Road.
On Tuesday, officers hadn't received any new reports of fake tickets, he said.
Rasmuson said the university and the city have an ordinance against posting fliers on vehicles.
Anyone with information regarding these tickets should call UND police at (701) 777-3491.