Passport scam ‘not illegal’

A Minnigaff man is warning others about a “con” which has left him £69 out of pocket the week before Christmas.

Daniel Macdonald is furious that he was duped into paying what he believed to be a £69 fee for a passport for his son, which turned out to be nothing more than an administration charge.

Mr Macdonald said his son found a website called which presented itself as a professional passport application site, and he assumed it to belong to the government. So when they filled out all the information online, a hard copy was soon returned for signing.

Mr Macdonald said: “There were some mistakes on it which we corrected but the rest all seemed to be what we expected so off went the photos and birth certificate and my bank details.The next thing we know, we received a letter asking for £72.50 from the passport office. I called them and they explained the first fee was nothing to do with them and must have been from a third party website that passes your application on for you. I was outraged that this company can do this so openly.”

Mr Macdonald carried out further inquiries and discovered there are four sites offering “help” for passports and driving licence applications.He also found out there is a seven-
day cancellation period but it took longer than that to dis­cover what had happened.

He said: “The passport office told me the small print on these sites covers them legally and the only way to get on top of them is to complain to Google. Meanwhile, all our details have been passed through a third party company and my son has had to postpone his travel plans. I urge any­one to ensure they are contacting the official passport office site.”