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Please be aware of scam visa companies

GALE
Level Contributor
179 posts
20 reviews
131 helpful votes
Please be aware of scam visa companies

I tried to book travel visas for my wife and I on line. As I have done so many times before around the world

Unfortunately in this instance I made the mistake of typing in http://www.eta.gov.lk/ in Google. Instead of the address bar..This brought up http://www.srilanka.evisas.org I then filled out the form and submitted it, at that moment I realised it was a scam site and it immediately sent a email to cancel it. TOO LATE. it had gone and they refused the cancellation Next I contacted Visa and they said they could do nothing and I was charged 100USD

Next I went on the correct site http://www.eta.gov.lk/for my wife’s visa it was much easier the visa was almost immediate and cost 30 USD

The official visa is a proper official visa and came within 3hours. The scam one is just a plain piece of paper with a number on I don’t yet know if it will be accepted when I arrive..

So I advise all visitors to double check before booking. The official site is so much easier and quicker much cheaper and no hassle.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
8,829 posts
1. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

This has been discussed many times on the forum.

But if I type "http://www.eta.gov.lk" on the google search function, then the first hit I get is the official site.

Norwich, United...
Level Contributor
701 posts
25 reviews
5 helpful votes
2. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

This should be a 'Sticky' on here. I posted about this last year and had replies suggesting that they weren't 'scams', but were offering a service. Quite what that 'service' is wasn't explained.... especially when the official site is so easy to use.

GALE
Level Contributor
179 posts
20 reviews
131 helpful votes
3. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

Thank you for your comments. I fully understand both comments.

What makes it a scam is that they pay extra money to Google to sit in front of the official website. A bit like the touts who sit outside the Bangkok temples saying they are closed and offer a tuk tuk ride until they are open.

As regards a service I wish I could show here the difference in quality between the official visa and the piece of paper issued by the scam company.What also makes it a scam is there was no possibility to cancels only seconds after the error was noticed, even though it took 24 hours to send their supposed visa and only 3 hours for the official one. I think TripAdvisor should have a permanent warning in the right had column, because there will be ,right now, others falling foul of this trap

Norwich, United...
Level Contributor
701 posts
25 reviews
5 helpful votes
4. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

Good idea. However I doubt it will ever happen :(

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
81,721 posts
377 reviews
407 helpful votes
5. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

Depends on YOU, regular forum users. Unlike other TA forums we've never linked here the Top Questions to forum threads, as these tend to become dated and often have solely one part of a topic, but always to Traveler Articles. I'd like to keep it that way, it's one reason the Lanka forum has a relatively high quality level.

And I don't see a point in having a Traveler Article solely about the ETA scams, such an article next to warning for scams should at least cover all details about getting the normal ETA (e.g. how long in advance applying, the on-arrival fallback, difference between transit and tourist ETA, the two price categories, the few exempt countries). Don't have time or plans now to write myself, but ANYONE can create a Traveler Article in TA and I have no problem polishing up such an article a bit and then promoting to Top Question - something only DE's can do.

So awaiting the volunteers starting to make such an article queueing up in hordes ;-)

Tnx,

<Erik>

6. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

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Beckenham, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
21 reviews
12 helpful votes
8. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

I wish I had seen this message before very stupidly completing applications on what I thought was the official website. Immediately realised my mistake and tried to cancel but of course no reply on phone. Tried to cancel by email but was eventually advised that my visa had been processed within 5 minutes! of application being made. I am not sure if this is a scam but have contacted my bank anyway. So stupid to pay £74 for a $30 visa.

Anyone applying for Sri Lanka visa PLEASE AVOID SRILANKA.EVISAS.ORG.

Iris

Canton of Zurich...
1 post
9. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

i was just being one of the stupid person..now i just want to know did you get the real Evisa from them in the end?at least i am not going to pay 35usd more for a arrival visa.....sad...:-(

Auckland Central...
1 post
10. Re: Please be aware of scam visa companies

I also fell for that scam, but it is interesting to note the variation in prices people paid. I paid US$45, so only $15 extra for my mistake. I was also worried it wouldn't be a real visa. I used the reference the scammers gave me and contacted the official visa place to have it verified. The official visa office confirmed it was legitimate and sent me the actual visa, so all was good and no issues at entry.

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