COPYCAT ‘OFFICIAL’ WEBSITES COST USERS MILLIONS
BEWARE FAKE GOVERNMENT WEBSITES. (Photo from Which? Website)
There is currently a speight of fake copy-cat websites which duplicate official sites, only they charge you much more than you should have to pay for normal services.
One example is the fake passport site which has just been stopped by officials, called British Passport Services. This site had all the signs of an official government site. They would take you through the normal passport application routines, only they would charge you much more than the real site. All they do then is to remove their profit and send your information and the official payment to the real site. You then receive your passport as normal, and you are none the wiser that you have been scammed.
For more infortmation on the Passport scam, follow this link.
The Which? organisation offer these tips on spotting fake ‘official’ websites on their own website:
- Copycat sites often look official, sound official and tend to do the job – but at a completely unnecessary cost.
- They often use URLs that include fragments such as ‘govuk’, ‘directgov’ or relevant organisation names to make them appear to be official providers of services.
- These sites also mimic the ‘look and feel’ of official websites, meaning that a consumer may not realise they’re not on a government website until it’s too late.
- You should always go directly to the official ‘gov.uk‘ website to purchase government services – such as renewing driving licences, European Health Insurance Cards or passports – rather than relying on search engines where the results can display these copycat sites.
The Which? organisation also offer more information on how to spot a copy-cat website on this link to their website.