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 visit the Action Fraud website or by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Centre on 03454 040 506.
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 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."