Are There Fake Passport Sites?
To travel overseas, passports are necessary. Unfortunately, as a migrant it can be more challenging than for citizens due to Donald Trump’s policies. With so many migrants waiting for passports waiting in line, scammers have quickly capitalized on this waiting period by creating fake websites and apps offering passport services at extra costs, as well as using these false sites as fronts to steal personal data from migrants waiting their turn.
Criminals utilize stolen passport numbers to gather additional details about you online, such as your date of birth and home address. They then attempt to impersonate you and access your bank accounts – one such man recently opened four fake accounts and deposited fraudulent checks worth over $450,000!
Government authorities urge citizens not to visit these fake websites and apps; instead they can visit the official Ministry of External Affairs website and download and use the mPassport Seva app in order to fill out application forms and schedule appointments.
But people still pay extra for passport services, especially since the State Department estimates it could take four months for regular passport applications. That is why it is wise to be wary of passport expeditor websites or ads or social media posts promising faster application processes; one way of verifying whether such claims are valid is checking whether an address begins with https://. Additionally, look out for images depicting U.S. flags, White Houses or Statue of Liberty to make the website look more authentic.