Stay vigilant against passport renewal scams that could compromise your personal information and travel plans this year.

I remember when I got my first passport.  It was such a process; I had to send in my Social Security Card for verification and they'd send it back in them mail weeks later.  I was incredibly nervous someone was going to steal my identity.

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If you're unfamiliar with the passport renewal process, sometimes you can't tell if you're on a fraudulent website.  These scams charge major fees for "forms" that are free on the government’s verified website, potentially compromising personal information on third party sites.

Read More: Fake Ticket Scam Targeting Illinois Festival-Goers 

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HOW PASSPORT RENEWAL SCAM WORKS:

Okay, you’ve got an awesome international trip planned and need to renew your passport. You hop online and find, what you think is, the official U.S. passport renewal site.  After completing the forms, the sites asks for your personal info; social security number, home address, and birth date.  You think nothing of it.

Then, you're hit with processing fees and receive an email that you still have to pay in full... after you just did.  That's when it hits you: you've just been scammed and given up a ton of personal information that could be compromised now.

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Now, next time you have to renew your passport,

  • give yourself enough time to do your research before giving up your card info so easily
  • Make sure the website is a verified Government website and not third party

Happy flying abroad this year!

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