One time back in H.S. I came from school to find a stack of catalogs on my parent’s dining room table. They weren’t your every day, run of the mill, ‘Sky Mall’ type catalogs. On the cover of the catalog sitting on top of the stack was a gigantic fleshy dildo. These were sex toy catalogs, and my buddy thought it would be hilarious to go online and order a bunch of sex toy catalogs to all of his friend’s parent’s houses and subsequently force me and the rest of his friends to explain what’d happened to our parents (it was funny, I still laugh about it to this day). This is a prank of a different nature, this one is significantly more elaborate.
A prankster in Asheville, North Carolina has printed up fake parking tickets with QR codes, those codes that you can scan with your smartphone and be prompted to a website or to download an app, etc. These fake parking tickets in Asheville are all for $100, and the normal parking fine in the city is just $10. So naturally the fake tickets send up some immediate red flags.
Once the people receiving the fake parking tickets scan the QR code they are brought to a a website, but instead of the local Asheville government website it’s YouTube, and instead of being asked to pay a fine they’re hit with the most annoying prank video in the history of the web: they get RickRolled.
“When someone first glances at the citation it does look official, but there are some key things when you start looking at it,” said Putnam.
The ticket is physically larger. It was dated Friday, March, 5th when it was the 4th. It had a fake officer ID and made up violation code. The ticket also had a QR code for smart phones to scan. The city’s tickets do not have QR codes.
“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,” said Putnam.
When you scan the code, it goes to a music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
“Oh, they’re Rickrolling with tickets? That’s atrocious. We got past the 80’s, I thought. That’s pretty bad. It’s a waste of time,” said one person downtown visiting from Atlanta.
Here’s what the ticket’s look like:
Rickrolling is one thing, but going through the trouble of printing up parking tickets that look nearly identical to real ones and distributing them on cars all for the express purpose of trolling someone with Rick Astley’s video is a prank so elaborate I cannot help but be impressed.
And for the people getting angry by this, shouldn’t they know that there are no QR codes on the Asheville parking tickets? Have you ever seen a QR code on any ticket, ever? It’s a pretty harmless prank, so I can’t side with the Asheville citizens all butthurt over this (see the WLOS video to see what I mean).
This prankster gets an A+ for effort and execution, and additional points because I didn’t have to click through and watch the Rick Roll video myself. For more on this story, and the ingenious method the prankster used to print up these fake parking tickets you can CLICK HERE.