Thinking of using the official Gov.uk online passport application service? You might want to read this first
The quickest and most convenient way to Renew your expired British Passport is to use the electronic application service online, located on the British Government website, creates the illusion of trust, The site link looks reasonably secure and official how ever the online passport application service is in fact a third party form filling service [https://passportapplication.service.gov.uk]
You will be prompted to enter personal, confidential information for your self and children in order to complete your online t Application, this all seems normal, so you go ahead and fill in date of birth, previous and current names and addresses, pass port number, email address and passwords. You are then directed through a 3-stage application process as described below.
There are 3 application stages when you make an online application for a passport. These are:
1 Create & Check application details
In this first stage, you will be asked what type of passport you want
Then you will be required to provide personal details of the person who the passport is for, including their name, address and contact details to confirm your British nationality (i.e. parents, and in some cases grandparents’ details, or details of the naturalization or registration certificate).
2 Pay and print the declaration form and guidance note
At this stage you will be asked to provide the details of the card that you will use. This secure online payment link pops up for you to enter your secure code.
Your required to use one of the following cards: MasterCard - Visa - Visa Electron - Visa Debit - Maestro. Once you have successfully paid, you are required to print out a declaration form, then prompted to enter a username and password. You’re asked to make a note of these as they only appear once and allow you to track your application online.
3 Sign and send declaration form
At this point, you will be required to sign the printed declaration form. The guidance tell you what documents to include and where to send your application
A Twist in the tail
Unfortunately the all-official-looking passport application website used to initiate the application turns out to be run and owned by a Third-Party form-filling service located offshore in the Caymen Islands, hence the Po box address and is beyond the reach of English law! The money you previously paid is not put towards the cost of your application and not forwarded to the real passport services
The personal and confidential information you entered into the ‘official’ online passport application service, will be now stored in random offshore database to be used and sold to the highest bidder.
Some people have gone so far as to send back there signed declaration form equipped with previous passport and other supporting documents only to receive a letter from the official government passport service asking for a payment for each of your family member’s passport applications and saying that issue will be delayed until you make a full payment!
You will not be able to obtain the documents you sent to support your application or your new passport unless you pay again! (Adults: £72.50 & Children: £49.00
Contact the Identity and Passport Service telephone Advice line on 0300 222 000 for further clarification:
What can you do if you realize your identity may have been stolen?
The Home Office introduced the following advice in 2007 following discussion with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the financial sector. They want to reduce the level of bureaucracy involved in fraud recording and streamline the reporting and initial investigation of such frauds.
1.Contact your creditors: Get in touch with creditors with whom you have an account (e.g. banks, credit card companies, store cards, phone & utility companies) even if they have not been affected so they can monitor your accounts. Your bank, for example, is now responsible for undertaking further verification and investigation and where appropriate will report it to the police for investigation following a change in reporting procedures.
2.Contact a credit reference agency: Call credit, Equifax or Experian provide suggested steps to resolve the situation and prevent it happening again.
3.Contact the UK’s fraud prevention service – CIFAS: If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft you should consider subscribing to the CIFAS Protective Registration Service. A notice will be placed on your credit file indicating that your name and address may be used to perpetrate identity fraud.
Being a victim of identity theft can cost you valuable time and money. A few simple steps such as shredding documents and keeping a close eye on personal details can avoid you having to retrieve thousands of pounds from your bank, being kept on hold while you cancel and order new cards.
If you are concerned about Identity Theft, consult these official websites:
Please note it is important to have in date identification, you will need to produce an up to date passport when opening a bank account, applying to enter into education courses, to take driving lessons and to gain employment. I advise you gain license and passport applications from your local post office.