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How to Recognise a Scam – Copy Cat Websites

You're late for your tax return, or you've just realised that you have to renew your passport before your holiday. We’ve all been there and you probably ended up on google searching for the quickest way to get it done.

'Creative entrepreneurs' know this and have creating websites to trick you out of your money!

How do they do it?

1. They set up a slick website, making it seem like they are the official company or government organisation. That is important, as they are relying on people not checking or noticing that this is not the official site.

2.They try to make sure it ends up high on search engine rankings.

3. They let you fill in all the details necessary for the real application.

3. They take your payment for the service they have provided.

You might be asking where is the scam here? Well here is the next step...

4. They take your information and fill it into the official website. Something you could have done from the beginning.


The most devious part of this scam is the fact it is often 100% legal!

The scammers will have in small print, or somewhere less obvious that there is in fact an official site where you can fill the information in, and that they have no affiliation with official organisation.

Lets look at an example from UK Passport Service


This is a prime example of a passport service being exploited to gain money. Check out the public's reaction from the public on MoneySavingExpert.


Our advice? Always double check that a website is an official government site. That means that the small print as well! Another tactic is to double check the website online for reviews.

They might try and trick you with design, but everyone gets caught eventually. On the internet there will most likely be someone who has been scammed and is talking about their experience


Have you been a victim of these copy cat scams? Let us know by submitting your story or posting a comment below!

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