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DO NOT USE THIS WEBSITE - I have been scammed

(193 Posts)
ihavebeenscammed Sat 15-Mar-14 10:48:59

Aghhhhhhh so angry.

Needed to renew DD's passport, googled the passport website and clicked on the following link

Was in a rush and filled out the form for a renewal for under 16, and put my credit card details in for �46 passport fee.

Form came back completed in the post a few days later and I took it to the post office with the photos and did check and send, paid again but didn't think anything of it as a message came up when I put my credit card details on the site saying they wouldn't charge my card until the form was submitted.

Anyway turns out it is a total scam, they are not related to the passport office and are just charging you the fee simply to send you out the form you complete online. I realised when checking my credit card bill and saw I had paid twice, once the fee to and once the check and send fee so rang to find out.

There actually is a disclaimer at the top of the site saying they are unconnected to the passport office, but I didn't notice this. I feel such a fool as am normally so careful about this stuff but was in a rush needed to get a passport quickly.

The guy at the passport office said I was lucky I had done check and send as people have sent their forms back thinking they have paid but then they get delayed as they haven't actually paid and people have missed their holiday he said loads of people are getting sucked into this.

They can't shut this site down, and apparently they are doing the same with DVLA applications and other.

My credit card company are disputing the transcation for me so hopefully I will get the money back they were also aware of the site and have had lots of customers have the same problem.

So Mad!!!!!!

CunningAtBothEnds Sat 15-Mar-14 10:52:14

i did this to the tune if 237 but realised and got a refund. i was livid they are trying it with ehic cards too bastardsangry

NickNacks Sat 15-Mar-14 10:52:36

This isn't a scam. They quite clearly tell you it's a company unconnected and basically a form filling agency.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sat 15-Mar-14 10:56:19

Thanks for the tip off. Thats' disgusting behaviour. There is a similar company doing the same thing with driving licences too.

Sorry for you though sad

kali110 Sat 15-Mar-14 10:57:54

Its horrible to lose money, but its not a scam, it does say it just check your form.

Latara Sat 15-Mar-14 10:57:59

Thanks I will warn my family about this.

ihavebeenscammed Sat 15-Mar-14 10:58:58

NickNacks - it is con as they are duping people into thinking they are paying the passport fee as their "form-filling fee" as you put it is the equivalent of the passport renewal fee.

Loads of people are doing this without realising it. I appreciate I am a fool and got sucked in but it is very sneaky what they are doing.

This is what they say, I misunderstood this and thought it meant that I wasn't going to be charged the �46 until I returned the form, I didn't realise they meant I was paying �46 and then had to pay another �46 when I return the form.

Our service is not connected to or affiliated with the Passport Office or any UK Government department. Our service fee is set out in our terms and conditions and is payable on completion of the form on this website, but you will not be required to pay the passport application fee until you receive and return the printed copy of your application from IPS. The information on this website may also be available without charge from other sources.

NickNacks Sat 15-Mar-14 11:01:17

I agree it's misleading and you're right to warn people but again, it's not a scam. They do exactly what they promise and it's up to all of us to be scrupulous to read and find out exactly what service we are paying for.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sat 15-Mar-14 11:01:53

It is a scam. They are deliberating manipulating you into thinking that you will only have to pay the fee once.

that is dishonest. So it is a scam.

gamerchick Sat 15-Mar-14 11:02:07

It's not a scam but it's still designed to trick you.

Somebody selling a picture of an xbox on ebay.. clearly stating it's a picture is technically not doing anything against the rules but still hoping to sucker somebody in.

ihavebeenscammed Sat 15-Mar-14 11:03:52

Scam is wrong word maybe then but they are con artists!

JakeBullet Sat 15-Mar-14 11:04:01

It might not be a scam but it IS misleading because unless you are extra careful you think you are using the official passport website. They need taking to task. I do hope the ASA are watching them carefully as well as Trading Standards.

serant Sat 15-Mar-14 11:10:00

i think it is designed to fool you into thinking it is the official passport site.. or why would anyone pay for a service which is free!

many people fall for this , I almost did.
It is not really a service.

ballinacup Sat 15-Mar-14 11:16:17

The best thing to remember is that all official government websites contain .gov in the web address. If it doesn't, it's not official.

ihavebeenscammed Sat 15-Mar-14 11:32:09

Ballina you are so right!!! And I know this!

Stupidly in a rush click on link don't read properly etc etc!!!

At least I was only duped £46 my friend's mum renewed two adult passports this way £140...

MissHobart Sat 15-Mar-14 11:34:51

I got scammed by a driving licence one, paid £90 for a new one after I lost mine, should have been £20. [Bastard] Bastards. hmm

gleegeek Sat 15-Mar-14 11:36:44

My dad fell into this trap renewing his driving licence photosad and my MIL with her E111 application. The online sites are virtually identical to the gov sites - very easy for the elderly to confuse... we sent multiple emails threatening small claims court and got most of their money back less an admin fee...

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sat 15-Mar-14 11:38:23

Martin Lewis has been trying to alert people to these sites through his shows and Facebook / twitter feeds. If you look on Money saving expert I believe he lists the official sites for EHIC and passports and driving licence renewals. HTH someone.

TeaAndALemonTart Sat 15-Mar-14 11:39:08

If you speak to your credit card company they may refund you. My friend had hers refunded. It was the same type of thing but for a driving licence.

Feenie Sat 15-Mar-14 11:39:55

We're in the middle of taking a driving license one to small claims.

WowserBowser Sat 15-Mar-14 11:43:18

Can i ask how your credit card company is disputing it? I used to work for one and i doubt we would have as you have got what you paid for IYSWIM?

Twunk Sat 15-Mar-14 11:43:25

If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

This is a scam. A very clever deception deliberately created.

I hope your credit card refunds the money OP.

ihavebeenscammed Sat 15-Mar-14 11:55:46

Wowser they are not treating it as a fraudulent transaction but as a disputed one so I didn't get what I thought I paid for I have to fill some forms out but not that hopeful as disclaimer on site ...

VodkaJelly Sat 15-Mar-14 12:12:59

I nearly fell for this with the E111 health card. I went on what i thought was the government site, filled it all in then when it asked for payment I got confused as I now they are free. Did abit more checking then realised it was one of those rip of sites.

Found the correct official government site and got the cards for free. If they are an independent company and are doing nothing wrong then how come they make their web sites to appear to be government ones?

VodkaJelly Sat 15-Mar-14 12:14:17

*KNOW they are free -

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