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Avoid the copycats' claws
05 June 2013
In a rush to renew your passport before dashing off to that all-important conference in the Maldives? Don't get caught out by the 'copycat' websites that sneak up to the top of your Google search.
Her Majesty's Passport Office issued a statement earlier this week warning unsuspecting travellers that 'rogue' sites are charging money to provide information or services that can be obtained much more cheaply - or for free - from the official agencies.
'Copycat websites offer basic information about the passport application process and can appear to be the official agency, but charge a premium for their services,' said the Passport Office statement.
'Some companies are reported to charge up to £40 for information that is available online.
'Coming to HM Passport Office directly can save money and speed up receipt of your new passport.'
The Passport Office said that it had 'already taken action with the Advertising Standards Agency to fine owners of rogue sites and ensure they do not use official logos or branding'.
The agency advised that anyone in need of a passport this summer can obtain an application form for free from their local Post Office, fill it out online or call the official help line on 0300 222 0000.
You can go to https://www.gov.uk/renew-adult-passport to fill out your application form on line.
On Saturday (1 June), the Guardian newspaper ran an article on the copycat websites which, inter alia, highlighted the plight of a couple of pensioners duped by UK-passport.net.