Alarm at sale of fake ID papers on social media


PAPER TRAIL: Migrants may be
tempted to use agents selling fake
documents online (inset below)
due to high Home Office fees
PAPER TRAIL: Migrants may be tempted to use agents selling fake documents online (inset below) due to high Home Office fees

by NADEEM BADSHAH PLATFORMS URGED TO STOP VULNERABLE ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES FROM BEING EXPLOITED MIGRANTS are being targeted by fraudsters selling fake British passports on Facebook, an East­ern Eye investigation has found. Criminals are openly selling bogus travel documents and ID cards on the social media website for between £800 and £2,600. One seller wrote he was part of a group of “IT professionals and database technicians that are specialised in the production of passport, license, ID cards, birth certificates, diplomas” and has produced the documents for peo­ple in over 170 countries. He wrote: “We are unique pro­ducers of authentic high quality documents, real genuine data base registered and novelty pass­ports, fake UK ID cards…UK pass­port and other…buy novelty pass­port.” Three email addresses and a phone number were included. Another company had a link to a YouTube video showing ID cards from different countries and was offering to “Buy Fake/Real pass­ports and documents online”. A separate firm posted a video of an email address to contact to purchase “Fake UK E-passports”. Campaigners are worried asy­lum seekers and refugees in the UK will be duped by rogue firms offering passports or may be tempted to turn to them due to the rising cost of Home Office fees. Entering the UK with a fake passport is a criminal offence un­der the Immigration Act. If a mi­grant provides false ID docu­ments, they can be banned from entering UK for 10 years, be thrown out of the country or face a prison sentence. Mohammad Yasin, the Labour MP for Bedford and Kempston in Bedfordshire, said Facebook must be proactive in removing bogus adverts. He told Eastern Eye: “They should ensure their systems are robust enough to identify such false advertising be­fore publication. “But consumers have a part to play too. Rising Home Office fees…

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