Peter Clarke

PC PAL Andover and Winchester

Peter Clarke is based in Andover and looks after both residential & business customer in Andover, Salisbury, Winchester & surrounding areas. Tel: 01264 931000 or 01962 921000 Email: [email protected]
Online Security, Tech News 1st July 2014 1786

Are You Really Logging In To A Government Website?

asks Peter Clarke of PC PAL

In the last month 5 people have been arrested as part of a crackdown on imposter websites that make themselves look like official government sites. They offer ‘services’ for huge fees that you can easily do yourself for free!

These copycat websites are very clever in making themselves look like the official websites, some even use the same colours and fonts as the authentic sites. They usually include ‘directgov’ or ‘govuk’ in their title in a bid to make you think they are authentic. The main copycats are sites offering tax returns, driving licence, passport application and the EU health insurance card.

One couple paid £207 to what they thought was HM Passport Office but, in fact, the fee was for the company to fill in their passport forms so they were then hit with the additional fee for the passports themselves. Also, people who thought they were filling in tax returns were charged fees of up to £500 in order for the tax return to be processed – this is free on the actual HMRC tax return site.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

  • Look out for ‘gov.uk’ in the URL (website) address - this is the information used by the actual government websites
    • Gov.uk/browse/abroad/passports – for passport application
    • Gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-licences – for driving licences
    • HMRC.gov.uk for tax returns
  • Read all the information on the website to ensure you are using the official service – the scam sites do say they only fill in forms – they just rely on you not reading the small print!

If you need some help with this or want to discuss it further don’t hesitate to call me – I’ll be happy to help and put your mind at rest.

Peter Clarke

Peter Clarke is based in Andover and looks after both residential & business customer in Andover, Salisbury, Winchester & surrounding areas.

Tel: 01264 931000 or 01962 921000
Email: [email protected]

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