Beware Blue Badge application ‘scam’
Gloucestershire County Council is warning of scam websites that are charging people to apply for a Blue Badge, when the process is available for 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.
If the application is successful there is a charge of £10 for the badge.
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 have URLs relating to parking permits and carry out the same simple application process that applicants can do themselves via the local authority or GOV.UK, but are in no way affiliated to the blue badge scheme.
Andy Hermiston, 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 is 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.”
Cllr Nigel Moor, 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, then 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, or by calling the Adult Social Care Helpdesk for information on 01452 426868.