'My dying dad was conned over Blue Badge', says son

Outraged – Paul Humphreys, whose father Alf was conned

Outraged – Paul Humphreys, whose father Alf was conned

First published in News
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A MAN is warning of a scam after his dying father was conned by fraudsters selling disabled parking permits online.

Alf Humphreys, 78, handed over £54 to apply for a blue badge, not realising the service is free.

It was only when Mr Humphreys died on June 3 after a long battle with stomach cancer that his family realised he had been a victim of the heartless con.

His son, Paul, 51, of Thisselt Road, Canvey, has spoken out to warn other people to be vigilant.

He said: “Dad went online to buy the blue badge when he got really ill.

“Three weeks later, we still hadn’t heard back from the company and dad said to leave it as he was so ill.”

The family received a postal order from a company in Ireland, but when Mr Humphries contacted it, they had no record of his father’s online payment and warned it had recieved similar calls about scams.

Mr Humphreys said: “What’s so disgraceful is it’s the really vulnerable people they are getting.

People like my father who did not have long to live.

“How he found them I will never know.”

Northgate Public Services who run the Blue Badge Improvement Service, are warning residents to be on their guard after a spate of scams charging from £49.

Joe Bradley, Northgate’s executive director, said: “We would like to assure potential applicants that the application process is free and that the best way to apply is via your local council or via the official Blue Badge website, at www.gov.

uk/apply-blue-badge “Unauthorised websites are preying on vulnerable, disabled people, and taking advantage of what is a successful and beneficial service.”

The only payment required for a blue badge is a cost of about £10 and is paid to your local council.

Essex County Council said: “When you search online, these websites will often appear at the top of the search engine page and people think they are the official site.”

Essex Trading Standards says residents should ensure they are on the official site before placing an order.

Southend Council support Northgate’s system.

Sue Taylor, blue badge team leader, said: “This was the way forward for us and we have fully embraced the new system– and it is now our single system for customer management of blue badges.

“The system design and functionality is excellent and it gives us the freedom and flexibility to adapt it to our needs.”

Comments (5)

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11:12pm Wed 11 Jun 14

ThisYear says...

Its free but costs £10..
Its free but costs £10.. ThisYear
  • Score: 8

12:17am Thu 12 Jun 14

poortaxpayer says...

ThisYear wrote:
Its free but costs £10..
It is free for the person needing the badge - council pay the fee themselves.

What on earth is the verbal diarrhea spouted by Sue Taylor at Southend Council? Did they remove her brain and replace it full of council speak bureaucrat babble?
[quote][p][bold]ThisYear[/bold] wrote: Its free but costs £10..[/p][/quote]It is free for the person needing the badge - council pay the fee themselves. What on earth is the verbal diarrhea spouted by Sue Taylor at Southend Council? Did they remove her brain and replace it full of council speak bureaucrat babble? poortaxpayer
  • Score: 1

7:20am Thu 12 Jun 14

Happy Chickie says...

"Sue Taylor, blue badge team leader"

The fact they need a team leader says it all.
"Sue Taylor, blue badge team leader" The fact they need a team leader says it all. Happy Chickie
  • Score: 8

9:39am Thu 12 Jun 14

nannyapp says...

The Council do not pay the £10, the Blue Badge Holder pays. Although my last blue badge hadn't expired I got a parking ticket because it was faded. Southend Council had written it in black felt tip pen. I appealed but my appeal was rejected. So I not only had to pay the parking fine but I had to pay for a new Blue Badge early.
The Council do not pay the £10, the Blue Badge Holder pays. Although my last blue badge hadn't expired I got a parking ticket because it was faded. Southend Council had written it in black felt tip pen. I appealed but my appeal was rejected. So I not only had to pay the parking fine but I had to pay for a new Blue Badge early. nannyapp
  • Score: 4

4:18pm Thu 12 Jun 14

runwellian says...

Why would anyone buy a blue badge on line when they are managed by the local council?
Why would anyone buy a blue badge on line when they are managed by the local council? runwellian
  • Score: -1

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