ITC-106VH PID + single boiler espresso machine perceived temp = 744.7f when it turns on

I added the Inkbird ITC-106VH* PID unit to my Racilio Silvia v2 machine. The package included a K-type thermocouple. Because there is no way to attach the sensor, I snipped it and connected both wires to a fork which is connected to the defunct thermal switch screw. I followed Settings for the InkBird 106VH controller
When I turn on the (cold) machine the PID shows: 1 BD \ 2-9 then F \ (backwards y) then PV 0.1 which adjusts to 744.0f and proceeds to climb quickly. Set is 204.5f.
Please let me know what I have done wrong and how I can fix the perceived temp.

Thank you

Per responses on Reddit I have stripped the thermalcouple wire back to an inch to wrap around the fork. The perceived value now comes up as 590.8f and then starts falling as I have disconnected the heating element.