Derbyshire residents have lost thousands of pounds to copycat websites this year, according to new figures from the county council.
Victims of copycat sites who have complained to the authority’s trading standards officers have lost almost £13,000.
The websites offer services from government departments or local government but are not official sites and charge a premium - often with no real benefit to the customer.
An online tax return processing service has cost county residents £7,150 with trading standards officers believing the figure is much higher as many people may not have complained.
The council has also received similar reports about websites claiming to process applications for passports, driving licences, driving tests and European health insurance cards.
To report copycat websites, or get advice, see www.derbyshireconsumerhub.info.