Tips to avoid Fraudulent Second Passport Programs

A second passport is considered an attractive business tool and an opportunity for less restrictive travel. Due to the numerous advantages associated with acquiring a second passport, many people are so desperate to obtain one that they fall victim to fraudulent schemes. These types of passport scams are targeted towards people who may not necessarily be of high net worth but whom are desperate to seek second citizenship status.

Passport Scams to look out for:

If a company is offering a second passport scheme which seems too good to be true, it will more than likely be a scam operation. A fraudulent company will typically display a number of prominent features to be aware of.

Some examples include:

• The organization will not require personal attendance in your selected jurisdiction.
• The organization may allow you to apply for the second passport and complete the entire application procedure from your country of domicile
• The price for the passport will be significantly cheaper than anywhere else you have researched
• The company will offer you the same (if not more) benefits than the government official companies

The administration procedure for obtaining a legitimate second passport will typically require the applicant to attend an interview in the issuing country. Physical presence of the applicant is necessary to enable the relevant authority to run the applicants details (including current passport, birth right details and finger prints) through Interpol to ascertain their eligibility.

Types of Passport Scams:

Stolen passports –
You may receive a passport belonging to another person, this could be where the ‘organisation’ has stolen the passport or has obtained it from of a deceased person.
Changing photos on passports – Although the passport photo inside your new passport may look professional and legitimate, when it is scanned through government official computers, the reflected photo is of somebody else.

Unobtainable contact details –
The company obtaining your passport for you will typically have false contact details or a false company registered address.

Courier delivered passports –
If you are informed that your new passport will be delivered by courier to you for your own convenience this is a sign that the passport is the result of a scam.

Condition of a new passport –
It may be delivered to you in poor condition, for example; the printed text may be difficult to read, there may be spelling mistakes, and the binders may look crooked.

Invalid government supplied passports –
In some circumstances, you may be dealing with governmental immigration/passport employees who have obtained ‘faulty’ but blank passports and who are selling you it illegally. These types of passports are invalid as the ID number will have been destroyed.

Citizenship through false information –
In extreme situations, a fraudulent organization will get a national whom resides in the country you want to obtain a second passport from to tell the relevant authorities that you are related. Under this circumstance the foreign national can technically ‘adopt’ you and consequently give you citizenship through ‘birth right’.

Passport through Bigamy –
many scams will promise the applicant a stress free and cheap way of obtaining a second passport by marrying a citizen of the country in question. This is a highly illegal option; the applicant can be prosecuted and where he/she is already married, can be prosecuted under terms of bigamy.

Passports sold from Asia –
Asia has adopted a bad image for the issuing of counterfeit passports. Typically, they will be sold at a very high price and are completely invalid.

Passports from fictitious countries –
In this circumstance, an applicant will receive a passport from a country which does not actually exists, or from a country which used to exist such as Rhodesia but is now not considered a country in its own right.

The obvious signs of a Passport Scam:

• Very cheap offers
• Rapid application process
• No requirement for the applicant to visit the country in person
• Citizenship programs with ‘no restrictions’ or citizenship programs from countries who do not offer such opportunities
• Passport program through marriage
• Passport program as a result of ‘false’ adoption
• Offer of a Diplomatic passport