Online scam targets passport applicants

Saanich Police are warning of a scam aimed at those thinking about applying for, or renewing a passport.  

The online scam has made the rounds before, but is now starting to resurface.  It involves a company making a false claim that they can speed up the passport process -- for a fee.

Acting Sgt Jereme Leslie says "the scammers are usually charging double or triple the price of a standard application, and giving a bunch of different options like a premium package, or maybe Nexus facilitation, etcetera."

But police say there's no such thing as a third party that can do that, passport applications are free, and the only agency allowed to collect passport fees are government passport service locations.

Leslie says scammers are after your money and personal information:

"If you've handed out your personal information to a fraudulent third party you could become the victim of identity fraud.  And you should contact both credit bureaus, which are Equifax and Transunion and you should place a flag on your account."

Leslie says you should also report the fraud to your local police department, and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.  If you have questions about the passport process, only deal with government of Canada.

 

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