Warning over European Health Insurance Card scam websites

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Holidaymakers are being warned over websites which offer to supply European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) - for a fee.

The card entitles UK citizens to free or reduced-cost medical treatment while travelling or staying in a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or in Switzerland. The EEA includes all European Union countries together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

European Health Insurance Cards are free of cost to UK citizens. However, third party websites - which often appear at the top of search results pages - charge for a card which could be obtained for free from the National Health Service.

The unofficial sites often look like genuine government websites, and the National Trading Standards eCrime team advise getting the EHIC NHS choices or look for it on GOV.UK. You can also apply by phoning NHS Choices automated service on 0300 3301350.

And it’s not only the European Health Insurance Cards which can be a source for dubious trading. Whether applying or renewing an EHIC card, passport or driving licence online, there are copycat websites out there looking to extract cash from unsuspecting holidaymakers. And, this could also put your personal details at risk.