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Civil Registry warns of fake e-passport application website

Zimbabwean citizens have been warned by the Civil Registry Department not to fall prey to a fake website that claims it can facilitate online e-passport applications, as they can be fleeced of their money.

Since the Civil Registry Department announced that Zimbabweans would be able to apply and pay for the newly introduced e-passport online, fraudsters have taken advantage of desperate passport seekers, especially those outside the country, to swindle them out of their cash.

In a press statement released May 19, the Civil Registry Department said it has learnt of a fake website: www.zimpassport.online (Central Registry-Apply for Zimbabwean Passport), which purported to provide online passport application services to members of the public.

“The account is misrepresented as the official account and used to swindle applicants of their hard-earned money. The Civil Registry Department dissociates itself from the website and cautions members of the public against seeking for services through the website,” said the registry.

“The department will not be held accountable for any loss or prejudice that may be suffered by engaging the fake website.”

The Civil Registry Department said currently it was only offering an online booking facility available for the convenience of our citizens and not an online payment service through PayPal.

“Finally, members of the public are hereby advised to approach our designated offices or embassies in the case of our citizens based in the Diaspora. We urge our citizens to rely on verified information which the department disseminates through its official website:  www.rg.gov.zw and social media platforms (Twitter handles @CivilRegZim, Facebook page: Civil Registry Department Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Twitter handle or contact us on +263242702295-9,” the registry stated.

 Meanwhile, Zimbabweans can apply for the e-passport on the booking system on the website: http://expresscentrezw.com/, which gives instructions on available booking schedules.

The online passport application system is capable of reportedly serving 20 people every 20 minutes.

An ordinary e-passport costs US$120 and takes seven days to come out while an express passport, which comes out after 48 hours is US$220.

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