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To be so cross that I have been scammed out of nearly £300

(107 Posts)
SuedeEffectPochette Sat 16-Nov-13 17:05:59

Renewing a passport. Clicked on a link of what I thought was the official website. Paid £70 a passport. And there are four! And all they did was fill the form in. So cross. Hoping my credit card provider will refund otherwise I will be having to go to the County Court. Miserable me. No one can afford to lose that amount of money TBH I can afford more than most but I can't be the only poor soul who has fallen for this. So angry that somewhere out there other people are victims too, and maybe can afford less than me......

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sat 16-Nov-13 17:07:36

I think I saw something about this on Watchdog, Suedeetc. Might be worth having a look on their website.

Shonajoy Sat 16-Nov-13 17:08:31

My daughter did this, we didn't get anything back. Hope you manage to x

claig Sat 16-Nov-13 17:09:18

Sorry to hear about that.
Hope your credit card company sorts it out.

LCHammer Sat 16-Nov-13 17:10:23

I was listening to a radio programme about this. I thought they were supposed to out big signs to warn people about it.

LCHammer Sat 16-Nov-13 17:10:43

(I mean on the website itself.)

LIZS Sat 16-Nov-13 17:10:47

There have been a number of similar threads recently . Only use .gov sites for passports, driving licence, EHIC etc . Visa applications can be similar, agencies rather than embassies. Don't automatically use the first thing that shows on Google.

Pancakeflipper Sat 16-Nov-13 17:11:14

Wishing you luck. I hate these rip off sites.

WorraLiberty Sat 16-Nov-13 17:11:18

I got my DS a passport a few months ago and the forms I received (in the post) from the passport office warned about that sort of thing.

Hope you can get your money back.

JudyJudgypants Sat 16-Nov-13 17:12:22

Ouch, is it a fake website passing itself off as the official one?

choccyp1g Sat 16-Nov-13 17:12:50

There was something about this on radio 4 this week, apparently you need to watch out for it with driving licence applications too.

Assuming you paid by credit card, it might be worth trying the card provider. Though I don't understand how the credit cards can get away with happily taking their % from fraudsters like these.

SuedeEffectPochette Sat 16-Nov-13 17:13:55

well, if you don't click the link and scroll down (who does that?) it says in very small print that it's not an official site. But I was misled and they clearly intend to mislead.....sad me.....

azzbiscuit Sat 16-Nov-13 17:14:30

I've heard of the diving license version of this. Where the company offers a service to "check" your application form for £70 for an application that the government charges nothing for. To be fair the website in that case clearly spelt out what the service was, which also means if your case is similar, you won't get anywhere using the law since it is legal to offer such (albeit expensive) services if you are clear about what you are offering.

NewtRipley Sat 16-Nov-13 17:15:23

If it's via a Credit Card, aren't you protected?

azzbiscuit Sat 16-Nov-13 17:20:24

You are only protected by credit card if the transaction is over £100 (4 separate transactions of £70 wouldn't count, so it depends if it was one payment or 4 separate ones), and the company have actually done something wrong. The problem is the service they have offered may well be within the law.

SaucyJack Sat 16-Nov-13 17:24:40

I just found one by Googling, and I see what you mean. They shouldn't be legal. Scumbag cnuts.

SuedeEffectPochette Sat 16-Nov-13 17:25:03

It was 4 separate transactions so that doesn't look good. Thanks for everyone being sympathetic and helpful and not just saying, "you're stupid!" which is how I feel.

TidyDancer Sat 16-Nov-13 17:26:49

Which one was it? There are a few.

Take a screen shot so you can prove the lack of clear wording.

Topseyt Sat 16-Nov-13 17:27:00

I think I saw something like this when I was renewing passports earlier in the year. I was almost drawn in, but my antivirus software (Norton) would not let me onto the site at all.

The Passport Office is a government department, so should be a .gov web address. I like to do the online forms and just have them sent to me for signing and witnessing, as appropriate. They were so much easier.

Also, be very wary of anyone offering to check your application form for £70 or more. If you want it checked at all you can do "check and send" at many post offices. Theirs is an official checking service and costs about £8 or so, if I remember rightly.

expatinscotland Sat 16-Nov-13 17:28:17

That sucks. I get forms like this only from the Post Office for this reason. Or you can them posted to you so you know they are legit.

lljkk Sat 16-Nov-13 17:33:33

Oh gawd... just reading OP's story makes me feel sick. sad angry

SuedeEffectPochette Sat 16-Nov-13 17:39:35

I feel sick but, look, in reality I can very luckily "afford" it and I also know how to go to the County Court to try and get it back (or just for fun to annoy them). But what makes me feel REALLY SICK is that there must be countless other "mugs" like me who truly can't afford this sort of scam and whose Christmas would be ruined or whose children would go without. Having it happen to me personally makes me realise how desperate they would be. I am not desperate, but just VERY CROSS!

Pacific Sat 16-Nov-13 17:42:14

OP, I managed to get a refund from a similar site that my son got caught on for his provisional licence. Here is a link to the thread.

SuedeEffectPochette Sat 16-Nov-13 17:44:09

Oo - thanks - I'll look at that but I don't hold out much hope TBH. If the site is honest I guess they will refund but if not, I guess not.......

kazzymac Sat 16-Nov-13 17:49:15

This is just happened to my son. I left him to sort it out (he is 19!). The form came in the post and instead of sending it back to the company he sent the docs back to the passport office. They replied with a letter requesting payment & when he called them they said this is a scam-£70+ he has lost with no chance of getting it backangry

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