ABTA, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Get Safe Online are warning travellers to Turkey to only obtain e-visas from the official Republic of Turkey website.
The warning is being issued after up to a hundred UK holidaymakers purchased fake e-visas which were only discovered on arrival in Turkey at which point authentic visas had to be repurchased at the airport.
Currently travellers to Turkey have the option to purchase a visa on arrival, though at a higher cost than online. However, this service is due to be phased out which could leave travellers who had purchased a fake visa unable to enter the country.
Nikki White, ABTA’s head of destinations and sustainability said: “Fraudulent websites targeting visa applications and other tourism services, such as passport renewals and EHIC cards, are a problem in the industry and we would always recommend going directly to the relevant official government website.
“The problem of fraudulent e-visas to Turkey is particularly concerning as many of these sites look bona fide. If you are unsure, check with your ABTA travel company or visit the FCO’s travel advice online to obtain the official website address.”
Stephen Sharp, communications director, Get Safe Online said: “What’s confusing is that there are illegal websites that offer fake e-visas, and then there are misleading copycat sites that are causing travellers to unnecessarily pay over the odds.
“People must be extra vigilant to both and, instead of relying on search engines, always go direct to the official e-visa site. Also, do your research to check if there are reviews about the site online. Small checks like this will ensure your travels get off to a good start.”