Websites are now selling fake Australian passports for around $1200, claiming they will stand the test of being checked at security blocks at airports.
The websites are being taken so seriously that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says they are “the subject of ongoing discussions” with Federal Police.
Both buyfakepassports.com and fakepassports.org are among the sites selling fake documentation, claiming that “we offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver’s licences, ID cards, stamps and other products for following countries: Australia, UK, USA”.
The anonymous operators of buyfakepassports told AAP that their passports would “successfully pass all existing tests, like UV-test, MRZ (Machine Readable Zone) check, machine check and so on”.
“In fact we haven’t got any complaints from our customers on the problems with customs, airports or any other law authorities during travelling.”
A DFAT spokesperson said: “Websites that offer access to genuine Australian passports are typically scams, as all applications must be submitted through official channels and are subject to … [a] highly secure issue integrity process.”
In 2007-08, Australian officials detected 143 improperly documented arrivals at entry points.