This year through July 27, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has received approximately 45 complaints about web domains offering passport processing, such as applications and renewals, officials say. Total losses surpassed $1,600, with individual losses in the range of $45 to $70, they say, warning:
“Potentially worse than the financial loss is the potential for identity theft after the victim has input their personal information into one of these fraudulent domains thinking they are applying for a passport.”
According to Bernas, there are legitimate passport expeditors — and they, too, have been hurt by the backlog. But many of the scams arise “from overseas with any scammer being able to create phony messages, emails, websites, Facebook posts, pop-up ads, etc.,” Bernas says.