Dorset residents are being warned to be aware of websites issuing fake blue badge disabled parking permits.
Trading Standards officers are warning residents about unregulated websites, which may appear to offer a quick and easy application or renewal for the blue disabled badges, but in fact they charge £49 for minimal help and have no authority to issue the permits.
The blue badge scheme enables disabled drivers and passengers to park in restricted areas.
These copycat websites are not linked to the blue badge scheme and the only way residents can receive a genuine permit is to submit their applications to Dorset County Council, where the genuine application fee will cost them £10.
Ivan Hancock, Trading Standards service manager for Dorset County Council, said:
“Steer clear of these rip-off sites. Many are based overseas so are difficult to tackle when problems arise. The official Blue Badge costs £10 and you can find more information on the eligibility requirements and how to apply for or to renew a Blue Badge through the Council’s website or through the Government’s official gov.uk pages.”
People are being asked to report any copycat websites to the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
Bournemouth resident, Sheila Olsen said:
“Many elderly disabled people find it troublesome enough working out how to apply for permits online, with these copycat websites about, it only complicates the matter further and they need to be shut down.”
To check eligibility for a blue badge, click on to GOV.UK.