Warning over 'copycat' passport renewal websites

Trading Standards officers in Leicestershire are warning holidaymakers looking to renew passports about so-called 'copycat' websites, which charge extra fees.

Trading Standards officers are warning holiday makers over 'copycat' websites Credit: PA

Officers have been contacted by people who've ended up paying £50 on top of the renewal fee, just to have the application form checked.

People can easily be fooled, these websites work by charging a fee for forwarding consumers' details onto the correct authority, or for processing the application by posting you the information for you to apply directly.

Consumers need to be aware that these sites usually state that they are not official ones and they are charging for something that is available free or cheaper elsewhere.

However, we are receiving regular complaints from residents, who feel they have been misled by these websites and some banks are refusing to refund their account holders, who have used the unofficial sites.

– David Bull, head of the council's Trading Standards Service