Passport to world scam on Internet

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 March, 1999, 12:00am

Conmen are selling fake international passports in the latest scam to hit the Internet.

Police are warning that the passports, advertised as allowing people the freedom to travel anywhere in the world, are worthless.

The US-based World Service Authority says the passports are valid for up to 15 years and cost up to $3,096.

The group says: 'The World Passport represents the inalienable human right of freedom of travel on planet Earth.

'The World Passport has a track record of over 40 years' acceptance since it was first issued. Today, over 140 countries have visaed [sic] it on a case-by-case basis.' Detective Senior Inspector David Cope of the Commercial Crime Bureau said they had come across at least four cases where people had used the passports in Hong Kong.

'Three people tried to use the passports to open bank accounts and there was one case where a person attempted to obtain a New Zealand visa using the passport,' he said.

Mr Cope added: 'We want to warn people that these passports are utterly worthless and a waste of money and the people on the Internet advertising them are just preying on people's ignorance.' He said that although it was out of their jurisdiction to try to prosecute the group called the World Service Authority, he understood the FBI was investigating.

Mr Cope said it was an offence to get a passport with a false name and then use it to open a bank account.

The World Service Authority include a disclaimer in their Internet advertisements which says they accept no responsibility for the position of any government as regards the acceptance of the 'WSA Passport'.