Beware Blue Badge application 'scam'

Published
16.02.2016

Gloucestershire County Council is warning of scam websites that are charging people to apply for a Blue Badge, when the process should be available free.

A blue badge is available to disabled people to allow them free parking and access to services and facilities. It can be applied for free of charge through the Gloucestershire County Council website.

There is a charge of £10 if a badge is issued.

But some Gloucestershire residents have reported being caught out by unscrupulous websites that are charging fees of around £50 for processing people's applications.

These sites carry out the same simple application process that applicants can do themselves via the local authority or GOV.UK and are in no way affiliated to the blue badge scheme.

Eddie Coventry, head of Gloucestershire trading standards service, said: "These websites may not be illegal but they exist solely to make money by charging for an application process that would normally be absolutely free. 

"Just because a website appears at the top of the list on an internet search it may not be the best one to use. Please ensure that you use the official website.

"We would like to raise awareness of this practice so that people are not caught out in future. If you know of anyone who needs a Blue Badge please pass the information on."

These websites may not be illegal but they exist solely to make money by charging for an application process that would normally be absolutely free. Just because a website appears at the top of the list on an internet search it may not be the best one to use. Please ensure that you use the official website.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "Do not get caught out by these websites trying to take your money.

"If you need any help, please contact us directly."

You can find out if you're eligible, and apply for a blue badge, by visiting www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/bluebadge, or https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge.

 For any issues regarding to adult social care you can visit http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/adults, email socialcare.enq@gloucestershire.gov.uk or phone 01452 426868.

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