Online fraudsters are selling disabled Blue Badges on Facebook to motorists across the UK who are trying to secure free parking.

An investigation carried out by Newsquest London found that fraudsters are selling the badges on Facebook Marketplace for £200.

The badges are issued to drivers with a disability or a health condition which allows them to park closer to their destination free of charge.

However, if eligible, motorists can only apply for a Blue Badge from their local council or the GOV.UK website.

The majority of councils across London usually charge for a Blue Badge - with a maximum charge of £10.

During our research, we found one advertisement on Facebook which says: “You don’t want to get fines anymore.

“Blue badges available for 2&3 years. For more info or prices DM me.”

Our reporter decided to go undercover and pose as an interested buyer in the hope of securing a badge.

Just seconds after messaging the seller, we were immediately told that they were available for £200 but £210 if they were delivered.

The seller continued to tell us the badges were fixed price if we were to collect and that they were valid for three years and four months.

When asked if they had many badges available for sale, they replied with: “Yes.”

We finished the conversation by telling the seller that we would contact them back if we wanted to go ahead with the sale.

They ended with: “Let me know before they are all gone.”

A spokesperson for Meta said fraudulent activity is not allowed on its platforms and it is now investigating these adverts. 

It added: "We are continually investing in new technologies to tackle this industry-wide issue, and encourage people to report activity like this to us and the police, so we can take action."   

The misuse of a Blue Badge is a criminal offence that could lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge.

To apply for a badge, drivers would need to provide details such as their national insurance number, proof of identification, and details of their medical condition.

During our investigation, the seller did not ask us to provide any of the documentation above.

The number of Blue Badge thefts in London has more than quadrupled in the last decade, according to figures by the Blue Badge Fraud Investigations.

While 1,230 of the badges were stolen in the capital in 2014, the number has risen almost every year since then to hit 6,415 in 2023.

A spokesperson for BBFI said that blue badges are intended to help people with disabilities or health conditions park closer to their destination, but fraud is widespread in London.

It added that the new figures were “a sad reflection on London in 2024”.

The data was released in response to a written question from Unmesh Desai, a Labour member of the London Assembly.

As part of our investigation, we asked several councils across London about what they thought needed to be done to tackle Blue Badge misuse.

A spokesperson for Bexley Council said the abuse of Blue Badge misuse impacts disabled motorists who often have to abandon their trip as they cannot park close enough to their destination.

The spokesperson added: “We are determined to protect the integrity of the Blue Badge scheme in Bexley by continuing to check the status of all Blue Badges seen on display throughout the borough and we are seeing more and more offenders being brought to justice.”