Holidaymakers warned of fake passenger locator form scam as fraudsters trick travellers into paying

passenger locator form
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Holidaymakers are being warned to look out for a fake passenger locator form scam that could trick you into paying for the free travel document.

With overseas holidays back on the cards and Covid-19 travel restrictions beginning to ease, fraudulent websites are charging travellers for free Covid-19 passenger locator form. 

Passenger locator forms are used so that people can be contacted in the case of a coronavirus outbreak when they travel from one country to another and are a requirement for holiday makers entering many countries.

While the forms are free to download and fill out from official government and airline websites, the BBC reports that rip-off websites are charging for customers to download them and that these scam websites have been appearing at the top of Google, easily duping people into handing over their money. 

Speaking on the issue Money Saving Expert's deputy editor, Guy Anker, said, "It's no surprise that these copycat firms have found yet another route to try and make money out of people for something that is free."

passenger locator form

Credit: Getty

Although it is not illegal to sell passenger locator forms, Mr Anker branded the knock-off websites "devious".

Airlines have advised travellers to be "extra vigilant" in their search for the documents, and to only download them from official websites such as GOV.UK (opens in new tab).

The con follows a similar Covid passport scam (opens in new tab) that saw fraudsters trick people into handing over their bank details.

Google claims to be actively removing adverts associated with passenger locator forms that have been paid for. Ads for websites offering unauthorised government documents are banned on Google's platform.

A Google rep told the BBC, "We only allow governments or their delegated providers to advertise for official documents or services.

"When ads breach our policies we take action to remove them. Last year, our team blocked or removed over 3.1 billion ads for violating our policies."