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Scammers Hitting Millions of People Waiting for Passports

Scammers Hitting Millions of People Waiting for Passports

Scammers Hitting Millions of People Waiting for Passports

July 22, 2021

Rockford, IL – July 20, 2021 – Passports Scams are rising with the State Department having significant processing backlogs. Reporting wait time for both new and renewal routine passport applications can be up to 18 weeks. Even the wait time for “expedited passports” takes up to 3 months and includes a $60 fee. Currently, there is an estimated backlog of between a million and a half to 2 million applications." Dennis Horton director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau says, “Scammers, posing as Passport expeditors are stepping in and convincing their victims for a higher fee they can get quickly get through the processing time, including the initial internal intake of the applications, and mailing. Along with money losses in these scams, passports contain critical personal information that unlocks identity theft for years to come.”

Scammers also love to play on people in an emotional and stressful situation, and with American travelers who do not currently have valid US passports under pressure to possibly cancel their trips and not be able to travel overseas this summer due to extensive wait times, creates a perfect situation for scammers to jump in with a fast but fraudulent solution. 

BBB Tips to protect against Passport Scams:

  • Watch for spoofers pretending to be a government agency. It’s extremely easy for making phone calls, e-mails, texts, and even phony websites to look like their coming from a real agency.
  • Never trust an unsolicited phone call or email pretending to be the State Department or Passport Agency asking for personal information or payment of fees.
  • Always check out any company with BBB.ORG before you do business with them.
  • Any form of unusual forms of payments like gift cards, wire transfers, even bitcoin are “Tip off’s to the Rip off.”
  • If you have lost money or encountered a scam, please report it to the BBB Scamtracker and help protect other consumers and your community.
About BBB:
BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois is a nonprofit organization that has served both consumers and trustworthy businesses for over 95 years and is a part of the IABBB. We educate and customers with businesses they can trust. BBB encourages everyone to use our free database of business ratings and reviews to find businesses before you buy.

The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB) is the network hub for BBBs in the US, Canada and Mexico. Like BBBs, IABBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers -- instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all. 
Please visit bbb.org for more information.
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