People have been encouraged to check if they are using the official government website as fraudulent alternatives have been appearing online. This follows the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London.
Portsmouth City Council is issuing a warning to residents and visitors regarding fraudulent websites that claim to be authorised to collect payment for Clean Air Zones across the country. Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, cabinet member for transport, said: “Anyone can fall a victim of scammers, who are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and often pay for their websites to appear as the first option on search engines, tricking people into inputting their payment information.
"Some people have already been scammed into paying the fraudulent site and this has been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre. It is important that residents and visitors to Portsmouth are vigilant and making sure they are using the official government website to check their vehicle is compliant with Portsmouth's Clean Air Zone and making any payments there if they are required.
"Private cars, motorcycles and vans are not required to pay to drive within our Clean Air Zone.” Deceptive websites have been appearing at the top of search results ahead of official sources.
The national problem is currently being investigated. PCC said they are unable to issue refunds for payments to unofficial sites, as they do not receive the funds for those transactions.
Further information on clean air zones, and a list of official sites, can be found on the government website.