Copycat Websites Scam Warning

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Five scammers have been arrested for running copycat websites that aim to rip off consumers looking to buy government services online.

The websites charged excessive fees for tax returns, driving licences and passport applications. Copycat websites in general are cleverly designed to look just like official government web pages but add extra charges for services consumers could otherwise have got for less, or for free, through the official websites.

If you’re in any doubt then don’t hand over any of your personal details or money. Anyone who thinks they have been duped by one of these opportunistic sites can go to their local Citizens Advice Bureau or call our Consumer Service.”

The Consumer Service phone number is 03454 04 05 06.

Tips on spotting copycat websites

  • Do not automatically opt to use the first website(s) you find in a search engine and look out for paid adverts. Quite often the official site is the first or the second non-paid link.
  • Read the homepage of the website – some admit to not being affiliated with the official body.
  • Take your time to look for the official website. Most can be found on the website.
  • Don’t be fooled by a .org web address. This doesn’t guarantee it’s an official site.
  • Check to see if the web address begins with ‘https’, as this acts as an encryption to protect personal details and is used by official websites.                         (From

More security advice/scams can be found on our Neighbourhood Action Group/Neighbourhood Watch website

Angela Money

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