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Winter Funland issues warning after families scammed with fake parking fee

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Visitors to a festive family funfair in Manchester are being urged to avoid scammers who are trying to claim extortionate car park fees.

Winter Funland opened at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre, in Trafford, on December 19 with families flocking to enjoy the attraction.

The event has free parking at the site, but visitors have reported being lured to park their cars elsewhere for £10, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Angry families have taken to social media to warn others about people wearing high-vis clothing directing them away from the main car park and charging the lofty fee.

Posting on the Hyde Community Group on Facebook, one woman wrote: "Just a heads up… anyone going to Winter Funland… there were a few lads scamming various cars for parking.

"As we approached Winter Funland there were lads in high-vis directing people to a car park – all looked normal – with yellow parking this way signs up etc, taking £10 off each car.

"When I questioned why it was £10 as it was supposed to be included in the price the guy just said that there has been confusion with the documents sent and it's £10 for parking. This guy made a killing today."

Others commented on Winter Funland's Facebook page about the situation, suggesting the scammers had put in 'fake road blocks' to stop visitors from getting to the official car park.

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One person commented: "Those f****** on the main gate stopping people getting into park didn’t even work there by the sounds of it!!! Absolutely shocking that the event staff didn’t move them on."

Another added: "They charged me £10 to park on a road that anyone can park on. When questioned about it he said it was the guy who owned the road that was charging people that price."

In a post on Facebook yesterday, Winter Funland organisers urged customers to ignore the con artists and use the free parking.

It said: "Please note that parking is FREE.

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"We have had issues today with scammers trying to tell people that they need to pay.

"Please ignore them and proceed to Bowlers Arena car park for plenty of free parking.

"The police are investigating."

Staff working for the event's official security partners will be wearing blue high-vis vests, and placed in prominent positions approaching the venue to help customers avoid the scammers.

Any customers who are unsure about the car parking can ask one of the marshals to radio to control for clarification.

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Police are monitoring the situation and any victims of the car parking scam are urged to come forward.

A GMP spokesperson said: "Officers are aware of the situation on Longbridge Road, Trafford Park, and the neighbourhood team is working with the manager of the facility.

"However, no victims have so far come forward – anyone who believes they have been wrongly charged can report it to police citing log 2237-19/12/21."

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