Warning About Fake Blue Badge Websites

I have received a news release from Wokingham Borough Council in which they warn of fake Blue Badge websites.

WARNING ABOUT FAKE BLUE BADGE WEBSITES

Wokingham Borough Council is warning disabled residents about unscrupulous scammers who charge people for help when applying for a Blue Badge.

A Blue Badge gives free parking to disabled people and can be applied for by filling out a form and paying £10. However, the borough council has received reports about websites charging as much as £49 solely for help with applying for a badge. Plus the information provided by applicants also does not appear to be forwarded to the relevant authorities.

This means a Blue Badge is not issued, and also puts at risk any sensitive information residents have submitted during the fake application.

Anyone requiring further information regarding these scams, or wishing to make a report, can contact Action Fraud by visiting: www.actionfraud.police.uk or by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Centre on 03454 040 506 or online at: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue.

Citizens Advice can also provide guidance on ways to seek money back, or where residents stand in terms of consumer law, and the details will then be passed to Trading Standards.

Applications for Blue Badges can be made online at: www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge or by calling the council’s Blue Badge team on (0118) 974 6808/6811.

Cllr Julian McGhee-Sumner, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “These websites are intentionally trying to defraud people by appearing official. I’d like to remind residents to use the official government website, or to contact us, if they need to apply for a Blue Badge and to not be exploited by these scammers.”

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3 Comments

  1. David L
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I understand that free parking for Blue Badge holders has been scrapped by WBC. Milk the motorists, even the disabled ones, discourage shoppers and help reduce footfall to local shops as their proprietors try to meet the business rates….brilliant!

  2. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, WBC actually encourages disabled people to turn to such sites with their interpretation of the Blue Badge Scheme’s rules and regulations.

    I held a blue badge for many years being a disabled person however, every time I applied I was greeted by a whole host of hoops to jump through. I have a chronic condition which will never get better and yet, each time I applied to RENEW my existing badge, I was told that I would need to produce evidence and attend a medical etc. It should be noted that I was actually seen at an early stage by a SROT (State Registered Occupational Therapist) professional, employed by WBC, who stated that I should actually be in a wheelchair but, it took me a long time to come to terms with using sticks and I was determined to not get in a wheelchair for anyone.

    WBC appear to be paranoid about someone getting something for nothing. When I renew my disabled person’s railcard, they just ask me to confirm that nothing has changed and the new card is issued, surely WBC could do something similar regarding the blue badge.
    It is, after all, only a bloody parking permit which recently has even less value within the WBC area as WBC chase pennies from any source they can.

    I have friends who have similar medical difficulties as me, but their local authorities are far more sympathetic and caring in relation to disability. They get their blue badges without all the agro which those of us in Wokingham suffer.

    I got so frustrated and stressed, which made my condition worse, the last time I went through the renewal farce with WBC, I told them to poke it.
    They told me that Blue Badges are extremely valuable and that they ALWAYS have to rule out fraud before issuing one…..I can understand this, given the need for protecting public funds, on a first application, but to go through a very humiliating and demeaning process just because you don’t claim one particular benefit, is wrong.

    My advice to Wokingham residents…..Don’t get sick or disabled.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted October 25, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Same headline could be said about unofficial passport application, driving licence renewal, EU health card insurance sites, and many more “so called” government approved sites.

    As ever when using the web, take care.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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