Beware of misleading passport websites, urges AM

MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has received a letter from HM Passport Office explaining what the UK Government is doing to prevent third party websites from misleading the public about their services.

Mr Ramsay wrote to the Passport Office after receiving a complaint from a constituent who was misled into paying £89 to a passport website in the belief that she was purchasing a renewal passport when in fact this was the charge the company was making for the service.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Ramsay said:

“I was pleased to hear from the Passport Office that they are well aware of the problem and are monitoring all such websites on an ongoing basis to identify any which may be either misleading people or causing them unnecessary expense. Where they become aware of a website which may be potentially misleading, they look to work with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to take steps to ensure that such a website complies with the relevant advertising standards code and does not mislead the public.

“The Passport Office also state that they are considering making a formal complaint to ASA regarding a number of third party websites, which in their view may lead the customer to believe they are dealing with HM Passport Office,

“It is good to hear that the Passport Office are taking steps to resolve the problem. In the meantime I would urge anyone to think twice about using these websites – the only official website for British passports is http://www.GOV.UK“

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