Having a passport in today’s world is no less than a necessity. Having a passport is always a great thing as it will allow you to visit new lands legally. Passports are compulsory to visit a foreign country. More and more people are issuing passports every day for various personal or work related matters. As more people are interested in issuing passports there are passport application scam which are increasing day after day.
Online passport Facility provided by Indian Government
As a lot of people started to issue passports in India. The Indian Government has launched their Official website to Apply for Passport. The purpose of the website is to make the passport application process easy and digital. So that the people of India can easily apply for a new passport. This website is proving to be a great platform for all the people interested in issuing passports.
How we begin the Application Process
The first thing we do when we want to do any online task is a “Google Search”. That is a logical thing to do. But we must not forget that results displayed on google can sometimes be advertisements rather than the official websites. Have a look at the following results
We can clearly see the “Ad” symbol before some search results. Many times these ads rank so well that they are the first result on the google search list. They rank even before the official website! Many of us believe that the first result which appears on google is the valid result without even trying to confirm if that is an official website or not. Thus we fall prey to the passport application scam.
The Passport Application Scam Websites
The unofficial websites are a complete mock up of the Official Website. Their layout is simple and subtle. So that people can gain trust in these websites.
When people believe these passport application scam websites to be legit they start the application process on the same website itself. They fill up their entire details and provide the proofs required for a passport application. People do not understand that not only are they using an unofficial domain but they are also providing their personal details and official documents to a website which is not trustworthy, which will then have all of your details and proofs and can use them in any way they want to!
How are these Websites Scamming you
Once you have entered all of your personal details and your proofs, you are completely sure that these websites are legit. You will land up on the page where these websites will ask you to make a payment for the application. Considering that you already know that passport application needs some fee to be paid, you will pay the demanded amount. But, what you won’t notice is that these websites are taking extra money from you in the name of “Consultancy Services/Processing Fee”
The official cost for a new 36 page – normal passport is 1500 Rs and additional 2000 Rs if you choose to get it in Takaal (Quick Delivery). People are unaware of these official fees and when they use these passport application scam websites they pay much more than the original cost. Many people end up paying money starting from 500 Rs to sometimes around 2500 Rs.
How you should recognize these unofficial websites
To recognize whether the website is official or a passport application scam website is very simple task which most of us often fail to recognize. Below are the results for both official website and the unofficial one
If you see these images with attention you can notice these things
- The “ .gov.in “ website
Always remember the fact that all Official Websites of the Indian Government end with “ .gov.in “ which shows that the website is legit. Any other website which is not .gov.in is not provided by the Indian Government and you must avoid using it in all cases for legal work.
- The “Ad” Symbol:
When you search on Google for passport application these websites pay google to advertise their website on the search page. To let you know that the result is promoted google displays the “Ad” symbol besides the search result. You should know that the Indian Government never advertises for any of the official services.
How to be not fall victim to these websites
- Always make sure that before using any passport application services you search “Official Passport Application Website” on google.
- If the website is not ending with .gov.in do not open such websites
- If the search result is promoted by google to rank on top do not open such websites are they are unofficial websites who paid to rank on google.
- Always remember that the official portal will never ever charge you more than the official fees decided by the government.
Please let us know if you were ever a victim of these unofficial websites.
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