The Clerk to the Parish Council has asked for this to be posted:-
Trading standards warn of
Trading standards officers are warning Dorset residents about copycat websites dealing with applications and renewals of Blue Badge disabled parking permits.
The unregulated websites may appear to offer a quick and easy application but in fact charge at least £49 for minimal help in completing the application form, and they have no authority to issue a Blue Badge.
Dorset residents who use these sites will still have to submit their applications to Dorset County Council and pay a further £10 to cover the genuine application fee.
These copycat websites are in no way affiliated to the Blue Badge scheme and many ask for personal information such as bank details and National Insurance numbers, which could be used for further fraud.
Complaints are being received by the county council in increasing numbers from residents who have unnecessarily paid excessive amounts to apply for a Blue Badge.
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.
“There are all sorts of scams based on applications for official documents we need so all consumers need to stay alert to this risk.Best advice if you don’t know the reliable website you need already is to use the official ‘gov.uk’ websites for any government services such as renewing driving licences, passports or European Health Insurance Cards, rather than rely on search engines that often display copycat sites.”
To report a problem with a copycat website contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06. This is the first point of contact for consumer advice or to report any consumer problem to Trading Standards.
For information about the Blue Badge scheme and how to apply please visit: www.dorsetforyou.com/blue-badge .
Notes for editors:
1. For further information contactIvan Hancock (trading standards service manager) or Martin Thursby (principal trading standards officer) via the Communications Unit on 01305 224474.
2. Anyone who suspects they may have been scammed in a similar way should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06. This is the first point of contact for any consumer wishing to complain about a business or wanting to know what their rights are. All complaints from Dorset residents are assessed by the trading standards service to see if they should be investigated further.”
3. For more information on trading standards law and the work of the county council’s trading standards service, visitwww.dorsetforyou.com/trading-standards
Fiona King, Public Relations Officer
Tel: 01305 224725
Communications Unit, County Hall, Dorchester DT1 1XJ. Tel 01305 224491