Ottawa – Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes today warned consumers about potential passport application fraud.
“Many people are renewing their passports at this time of year in preparation for winter vacations,” he says. “There is a process to acquire a passport or renew a passport and no organization, no matter what they promise, can do it for you, or expedite the acquisition of a passport.”
Some organizations claim to offer help to Canadian citizens who want to apply for a passport or other travel documents, like a NEXUS card. They try to sell information kits that outline how to apply. Some also falsely claim to be able to speed up the application process for a fee. These websites will look like an official government of Canada agency, however, they are not.
“Passport application and NEXUS application forms are free and available on the Passport Canada website and Canadian Border Services Agency website, respectively,” explains Brown. “As well, they can be acquired at Post Offices, or Service Canada offices.”
Mailing instructions are included with the application documents.
No third-party person or group can speed up the processing of your passport or NEXUS application. You must apply in person at a passport office if you need urgent, express, or pick-up services.
The NEXUS application must be processed by both the CBSA and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
NEXUS fees will be collected with your application.
Only passport service locations are authorized to collect passport processing fees.
Service locations include: passport offices; Service Canada Centers; some Canada Post counters and Government of Canada offices abroad.
“In Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes my offices have also been approved as passport service locations by Passport Canada and we have been authorized to collect fees in the form of credit card payments or certified cheques or money orders made out to the Receiver General for Canada,” Brown notes. “We can not accept cash or personal cheques.”
The User Fees Act regulates passport fees. You will never be asked for the card security code on the back of your credit card when paying your passport fee.
Contact Passport Canada -Toll free: 1-800-567-6868 – if you have any questions about passport or CBSA -Toll Free: 1-800-461-9999 – for NEXUS applications.
You can also visit a service location or visit your Member of Parliament Gord Brown’s office for help.
Brown notes further that you should contact Passport Canada if you think: you’ve been a victim of identity theft or someone used your identity to falsely get a passport or travel document.