Ron Freitas
District Attorney
July 3, 2024

Avoid scam websites that offer to help you get or renew your passport

SOURCE: Gema de las Heras, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Do you need to apply for or renew your passport? If you search online, the top results might show official-looking websites that say they can renew or get you a passport. Some of these websites are private companies that charge you for services that are free on the U.S. Department of State website…while others are scammers trying to take your money and personal information.

Travel.State.Gov is the official government website for passport services.  Some companies registered with the U.S. Department of State charge extra fees to submit your application and pick up your passport if you’re busy or need help. But you won’t get your passport faster than if you applied on your own without the extra cost.

But scammers also set up sites with similar names, flags, and seals, pretending to be affiliated with the government. For $60 to a few hundred dollars (on top of the regular passport fee), they promise to help you get a passport. But if you pay, you’ll lose your money and might be giving your personal information to scammers who could sell it to identity thieves.

To avoid passport scams, know this:

  • The U.S. Department of State is the government agency that handles passport services, but your top online search results might be phony passport application websites. Go directly to Travel.State.Gov to avoid clicking on a scammy website.
  • There’s a charge to get a passport, but the forms to renew or apply are free. Anyone who asks you to pay for forms is a scammer.
  • It’s free to set up an appointment if you need a passport to travel right away. The Department of State’s passport agencies and centers don’t charge for appointments, and paying someone to set it up for you won’t get your passport faster.

Contact if you spot a scammy passport application, website, or if you paid someone who turned out to be a scammer. And tell the FTC at Visit if someone has misused your personal information.