DFA: ‘Beware of fake social media accounts selling passport appointment slots’
The demand for passports remains high, but applicants should not be deceived by false announcements that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is selling appointment slots online for passport applicants.
In a statement, the DFA said that it was not selling passport appointment slots and urged the public to be wary of fake social media accounts pretending to be DFA sites.
“Fixers and scammers engaged in fraudulent activities are punishable by law. Violators will be prosecuted and barred from applying for passport. We will report you to the proper authorities to penalize you because of your illegal activity,” the DFA said.
“(The DFA) does not offer passport appointment slots through social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and does not own nor is associated with any websites and Facebook accounts other than the official websites and social media accounts,” it added.
The DFA said its official social media accounts are only the following:
“Furthermore, the DFA does not tolerate any activities involving the illegal trade of online passport appointment,” it said.
The DFA has been exerting effort to speed up its passport process and providing other services by setting up satellite DFA offices, its passport on wheels program, and providing online appointment slots to passport applicants.
Late last month, the agency reminded the public that there were still open slots for passport online appointment for the period of July to September this year.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Consular Affairs wishes to inform the public that passport online appointment slots for July to September 2018 are still available,” it said.
Also, just recently, the DFA announced that it shortened the processing time for passport application by extracting the payment of the processing fee from the process.
In the past, the payment of processing fee was one of the steps an applicant goes through in order to avail of his or her passport.
But in the new processing system, the applicant should already pay the fine before going to the DFA office.
They have authorized selected payment centers to receive the processing fees of the passport applicants, in their behalf.