What might appear to be an enterprising businessman is nothing other than a scam artist, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says of an illegal parking lot in downtown St. John's.

The RNC said a man has been collecting money from people who want to park on a vacant stretch of land near Pleasant and New Gower Streets, just west of the Delta Hotel's parking lot.

The man charges for parking on nights that events are being staged at nearby Mile One Centre.

The land, though, is not his .A 12-storey Hilton Garden Inn is being developed for the vacant land in the area.

The RNC is "urging the public to be aware that this is not a legitimate paid parking area," meaning that police or municipal officers may issue tickets.