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Don’t fall victim to “copy-cat” websites
Thursday 23rd January, 2014

A warning has been issued urging Wigan Borough consumers not to fall victim to “copy-cat” websites when renewing their passports, driving licenses or European health insurance cards.

The warning was issued by Wigan Trading Standards following a number of concerning complaints from Wigan residents who have paid extra in order to renew their passports and licenses from websites that appear to be legitimate, but are not the official government sites.

Such sites charge for assisting you to fill out the official application forms and fees can range from £20 for an EU health insurance card, which is free from the NHS, to £90 to update an address on a driving license, which is also free from the DVLA.

Councillor Terry Halliwell, said: “People can easily be taken in by these websites that work by charging a fee for forwarding consumers' details on to the correct authority, for processing the application by posting you the information for you to apply directly and for checking your application for errors and omissions."

“Consumers who were caught out assumed the first few sites that appeared in the results of internet searches were the sites they needed to use, particularly when these site have official sounding domains.”

If you need to renew your passport or driving license, make sure you go to the official Government website at www.gov.uk and follow the links to the relevant pages. To apply for a free European health insurance card go to the NHS site at www.nhs.uk and search for EHIC.

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