Copycat websites continue to draw in unwitting punters. One of the most common scams relates to the London congestion charge, but now Transport for London plans to step up its action against them.
At the beginning of 2014 more than 1,000 people a day were reportedly being duped by fake London congestion charge websites. Drivers were paying up to £8 extra for promised ‘additional services’ that added up to nothing at all.
In February, Transport for London (Tfl) announced that it had worked with Google and other search engines to remove these unofficial sites from advertised search results. This action has reportedly seen the number of payments made through copycat websites fall dramatically. But Tfl plans to go further.
Copycat congestion charge sites
For the next month Tfl is consulting on measures to refuse congestion charge payments performed through unofficial websites. If all goes well, the Congestion Charging legislation will be modified in December 2014.
Tfl’s consultation closes on 12 September 2014, after which a report will go to the Mayor who will decide whether to take the proposals forward. Oh, and remember that if you want to pay the congestion charge, do so through the official website.
Do you think it’s a good idea for Tfl to refuse congestion charge payments that have come from unofficial sites?
To stop this from being a London-centric debate, I want to know whether you think the same action should be taken by other official government services. For example, do you think passport applications submitted through a copycat website should be refused?