Residents have been alerted to a car park scam currently circulating in the area.

A fake car parking payment app is being used by scammers to trick customers into paying via their phone to fraudulent accounts.

One such case has been reported in Newbury, where one customer said they were fleeced of £50 after trying to pay for parking at the Kennet Centre car park.

Hampshire police have released a statement warning members of the public about the fake Pay by Phone app which can be found in Android and iPhone app stores.

A spokesperson said “Please pay special attention to the app you are downloading when wanting to use an online payment where bank details are stored.

“Double check the logo looks correct, and the area codes display are showing where you are located.”

Since news of this broke out, members of the public have been airing their grievances over the abundance of pay-by-phone payment methods for parking rather than being able to pay with a card.

Some suggested that a scam like this would not be such a prominent issue if paying for parking went back to card and cash methods.

One upset customer said: “The Kennet Centre car park was pay by app only yesterday. My phone wouldn't download the app.

“There were a lot of angry, confused, and stressed people there. The man at the office suggested creating an account when at home with internet access or using a different car park.

“I wondered why the car park was relatively empty. I feel sorry for the business owners of Newbury when supporting services like this creates madness.”

West Berkshire Council were contacted about the issues with the parking payment system and has told residents to report any problems with car parks on their website.

Many also suggested that the older generation may find it difficult to pay via an app, so other methods should be reintroduced.

One person said “So many people do not have internet or apps especially older people who don’t even own a mobile phone to call. Disgraceful.”

The Kennet Centre was contacted to ask for a comment on the matter but said that the car park is leased and managed by the local authority and has nothing to do with them, apart from the name and owning the actual building.

Thames Valley Police were asked if they would like to comment, but they declined.