Warning over website ‘help’ over passports

Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
Blackpool Town Hall and (below) council leader Simon Blackburn.
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Residents are being warned not be taken in by unoffical websites when it comes to renewing their passports.

Blackpool Council trading standards chiefs are urging people to be wary of copycat sites offering online passport application or renewal services.

At first sight it would appear that by paying a fee and entering their details people can complete the application process online and obtain a new passport.

In reality however they are simply paying for an electronically filled out form to be sent by post.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for public protection, said: “We are getting an increasing number of complaints from people who have been misled by these websites and this is mirrored up and down the country.”

One Blackpool resident who fell victim to the scam said: “A couple of days after the application I saw £40 had been taken out of my account so I looked into it a bit more and realised I’d been charged for the service not the passport.”

For further advice, contact the Blackpool Council trading standards advice service on (01253) 478375.