I recently became aware of a scam that affects Blue Badge applicants in Aberdeen.
It is a very simple, cynical and convincing scam that involves paying £49 for what is a £20 Blue Badge– if one qualifies in the first place.
The information I have received suggest a well–meaning person, acting as proxy for the applicant, applied for a Blue Badge online and was duped by a website that offered services for obtaining a Blue Badge. The cost was £ £49. 00. In the conversation it became clear that allegedly a local Aberdeen health professional was recommending this site as a way of obtaining 3 Blue Badges.
Let’s deal with that assertion that a family could get three Badges. Utter nonsense.
A Blue Badge is for the person and transfers between vehicles with the person who has been granted it, after a strict screening of their eligibility.
Aberdeen City Blue Badge team, have the following warning notice on their website at:
“Blue Badge Application Scam
It has come to the attention of Aberdeen City Council that there is a scam website offering to help people apply for a Blue Badge for £49.
The scam website requires you to pay the £49 up-front for which the information that is provided is not passed on to Aberdeen City Council. Applicants who have used this scam have then innocently went to track their application and find that it is non -existent. You will then have to apply to the council and still be required to pay the £20 fee if your application is successful.
Applying directly will only cost you £20 if your application is successful.
Applications for a Blue Badge should be made through the GOV.UK website which is a free service or you can contact Aberdeen City Council directly where we will send you an application form for free.
If you have any doubts about a website or your application, contact the Blue Badge Team to get more information or advice about the Blue Badge scheme on 03000 200 292”
You can download or apply online at the Blue badge Unit here.
However, our volunteers are very well versed in assisting people with the completion of these forms, which are 20 pages long – and we do it for free.
The idea that “three badges can be obtained” is probably down to the fact that in the recently updated forms there is a space where the applicant can enter up to three registration numbers of vehicles that will be the main use.
The form states:
“Please nominate the vehicle registration number(s) for the main cars in which you intend to use the Blue Badge:
(Up to three registration numbers should be nominated, but please remember that other vehicles can be used)
Why would three vehicle registrations be named? If a Warden or the Police were possibly informed of the misuse of a Badge by someone other than the Badge Holder, it can help to immediately identify what vehicles are usually used by the Badge holder – who should be present or nearby to the vehicle that is transporting them.
This scam has been on the go for years and reported in various disability information webpages.
Our organisation (and other reputable and reliable groups) will not charge you for help with filling in the forms. The only money that should change hands should be between you and the council.
Remember, you apply for the Badge, but you only pay the fee of £20, when the application is successful, and the badge is issued when that fee is received.
You do not under any circumstances need to pay £49 for any application.
If the allegation that a health professional is guiding people to a scam website, whether in good faith or just plain ignorance is a worrying development, because most people recovering from illness will listen and act on a heath professional’s advice.