If you are planning to travel outside India, it is very important to have a passport. Passport is an official document issued by the Government; which allows citizens travel outside the country.
Your passport certifies your identity and nationality when you travel out of your country. When you visit any country you will be asked to show your passport. Your passport also serves as an address and identity proof. You can use it to avail various government and private services.
The process of applying for a new passport or reissue of the passport can be done both online and offline. Nowadays, a lot of people prefer doing it online because of the convenience. As the number of people who apply for passport online is rising, online passport frauds too increase. Fraudsters have set up many fake websites with the intention of stealing money and personal details like passport number, mobile number and address.
Fake websites while applying for a passport, have become a very big problem as the names of these websites resemble the official website of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The Passport is issued by the President of India through the Passport Seva (Passport Service) unit of the Consular, Passport, and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs.
To alert people on the existence of these websites, the official website of the External Affairs Ministry has put up a notice stating the names of a few fake websites.
The notice says, some of these fake websites are registered in the domain name *.org, *., *.com such as www.indiapassport.org, www.online-passportindia.com, www.passportindiaportal.in, www.passport-india.in, www.passport-seva.in, www.applypassport.org, and many other similar looking websites.
These websites are very active and appear on the main search engines. Recently, a woman who wanted to renew her passport lost Rs 4,000 to a fraudulent website. She thought of applying for the passport online and visited a website www.online-passportindia.com.
While applying for the passport renewal, the victim was asked to transfer Rs 4,000 as processing fees. After she paid Rs 4,000, she received a call from fraudsters and they asked her to visit their office. She got suspicious and asked about their connection with the passport issuing authority.
As soon as she asked this question, the caller disconnected the call, stating she would call after some time. But, she never received the call. When she tried calling that number, it was switched off and another number on the website was not functional.
When she visited the official website she got to know she was cheated, as they had put up a notice that websites like www.online-passportindia.com are fraudulent websites cheating people.
To avoid this kind of fraud, you must use only the official website, where one can apply for passport services. The official website is: www.passportindia.gov.in. You can also use the official mPassport Seva app which is available on both Android and iOS.
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