If you are looking into obtaining a second passport, then you have to be very careful to avoid scammers who plan on taking your money.
Second passport scams are becoming quite common these days because many expats & travelers are looking for clever ways to enter different countries without going through the long, arduous visa process. These scammers promise to provide a second passport if you pay them a certain sum of money.
I’ve met at least 3 different people in the past year who feel victim to this scam so I decided to write this article to educate everyone on how the 2nd passport process works. Also, you need to be careful when listening to con-men who promise to solve your passport issues.
How Second Passport Scams Work
The scammer will offer you a second passport from a developed country (United States, Canada, Switzerland, etc) in exchange for a large sum of money. All they ask you to do is send them the money and a few photos so they can “process” your passport in a few weeks.
Once you send your money to the scammer, they usually block all contact with you including Facebook, WhatsApp, or stop responding to your emails. If you do talk to the scammer, they will usually apologize for the scam saying they really needed the money blah blah blah.
Never under any circumstances send large sums of money to anyone in exchange for illegal goods. There is a huge black market for stolen passports where criminals will remove the passport photo and try to replace it. If you ever get caught traveling with a stolen passport, you risk putting yourself in jail and paying a lot of money to get out of trouble.
The only legal way to obtain a second passport is through the respective country’s immigration department. Trust me, it’s never a quick and easy process. Most countries require you to reside in the country for at least 2 years until you can apply for a second passport. For example, Belize requires you to live there for at least 5 years until you apply for a second passport.
Some countries do expedite the process if you plan to invest a reasonable sum into the country. Consult with the country’s investor and immigration office before sending money to anyone. Always follow the proper legal process to avoid headaches in the future.
What to Do If Someone Approaches You With a Second Passport Scam
If someone approaches you with this scam, here are the recommended steps to take to protect yourself:
- Do not under any circumstances send any money to the scammer
- Do not agree to any terms whatsoever with the scammer
- Avoid discussing any more details about obtaining a 2nd passport
- If the potential scammer is a family member or close friend, politely tell them you are not interested and change the subject
It’s a shame to fall victim to these scams because the victim loses all their money and the scammer can now move on to the next victim. Be extremely careful about sending money to people for illegal items.