PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson has spoken out about hoax websites that are made to look like official government sites, stating that a number of Pendle residents have fallen victim to the scam.
Over 5,000 complaints about websites made to look like they offer Government services have been made to the Advertising Standards Authority and Citizens Advice.
The websites work by scamming people into paying unnecessary fees for services such as receiving tax returns, issuing driving licences and passport applications.
Imitation websites tend to use addresses that are similar to the official government website, www.gov.uk, where genuine services are available.
Five people were arrested in July after Police raided four properties in the UK.
They were held under the Fraud Act according to trading standards officials.
Andrew Stephenson MP said, “More and more, we are going online to access services. But, some scammers have taken advantage of people by setting up misleading websites that imitate the government one, making money off unnecessary fees.
“A number of Pendle residents have contacted me to express their frustration after falling victim to this. I thoroughly welcome the government crackdown and the arrests. This will go some way towards discouraging others and protecting Pendle residents.”