They say it is important to diversify in business and Peter Bevis is a man who has apparently taken this to heart. About the same time as the fishing rod licence scheme was blossoming the Bevis family started the “EU health card application service”, charging £9.99 for a service that is supposed to be free. Undoubtedly there was some ‘checking’ involved there, too.
According to a post on the Maggotdrowners fishing forum the Bevis family set up a number of sites to peddle this service. We have checked all these sites and are happy to report that the EU health card scheme is no longer in operation. Some of the webpages have been taken down, whereas others display a nude photo of Dave Webster, the administrator of the Maggotdrowners fishing forum (we warn against strong graphic images!). We assume that the nude photo with the very rude text is payback for revealing the EU health card scheme on a public forum, so this scheme must have been lucrative before it was stopped. However, above anything this shows that Peter Bevis is a man who is able and willing to get down and (really) dirty to silence his opponents.
Quotes from two post on page 2 of the Maggotdrowners fishing forum regarding this scam:
“Also note they have other websites that charge you £9.99 for your free e111 health card and so have your credit card details for a free service
European Health Cards
SOMEHOW GOOGLE MUST TAKE THESE SITES OFF THEIR SEARCH LISTS – any ideas please”
“Incidentally I said ‘web-sites’ rather than use the singular because the same company is operating http://visitusa-esta.org/service.html which purports to offer checking of applications for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to the US, and www.euhealthcard.org which supposedly checks applications for European Health Insurance Cards. In all cases the model is the same – the scam sites charge applicants a fee for what is in fact a free service, and do nothing more than interface with the corresponding bona fide site. This could be easily stopped if the latter implemented so-called CAPTCHA technology (the acronym is for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”). Users of the scam sites will invariably be drawn to them through an Internet search, probably via Google, with the sites having been set up especially to ensure that they are ranked as highly as possible in the search results, or in some cases sponsored.”
The fact that the Bevis family are behind this con is a matter of public record, as it is evidenced by the fact that they used their company Quality Design (CI) Limited (the same company that holds their fake British Order trademarks) to apply for the following two marks:
Interesting move to apply for a trademark of an official government form number… No wonder it was refused.
As we have recently learned from one of our observant readers (below), the Bevis family unfortunately still carry out this con from another website: applyehic.org.
Although the new site takes care to specify that the EHIC is available free of charge from the NHSBSA web site, it is disturbing that the company behind it, the Bevis-controlled EHICOnline Ltd, was dissolved in January 2012. So what protection do the public have when they are in fact dealing with a non-existent company?
We are also pondering the Belgian contact address. Have the Bevis family started a new Belgian EHIC Ltd from which they currently run this con? If so, why Belgium?
Important update 2:
The Mirror has written a critical article about the Bevis family’s newest website here: “Fee or free? European health cover card”. Quote from the article: “The copycat sites give a postal address in Belgium but are registered anonymously to an address in Australia.”
You might also wish to check out the comments below the article, clearly showing that many people feel let down by this scheme, e.g. as put by one Cheryl McGuire:
“It is absolutely appalling that they have set themselves up as an ‘official’ site and taking money for something that is free. They even have the audacity to reply using the NHS official site by email. I phoned the NHS and they are trying to get trading standards to close these sites down but apparently they are not illegal. How can this be? It is not just about the money but the principle of people thinking it is ok to make easy money through this method. I am totally disgusted. And trading standards should be much more pro-active on this issue.”