/ Motoring

DVLA issues fresh fraud warning

The DVLA has revealed a sharp rise in the number of scams it’s had reported to its contact centre. Have you spotted one? Let us know so we can get the word out.

The last time we covered DVLA scams here on Which? Conversation it clearly struck a chord – thousands of people read and shared the article throughout the year.

My questioning of the timing of the fake email was even picked up in the media, with both The Mirror and The Express using my quotes in separate articles.

Just over a year later and the DVLA has issued a new fraud warning amid a 20% increase in scam reports directly to them – 1,538 of them came in the last three months of 2019.

The reports include fake websites, phishing and smishing scams, which are all types of fraud we’ve been covering extensively in these examples:

HMRC smishing

Clarks fake website/ads

Santander phishing

Have you been sent a new DVLA scam?

The agency has said that motorists are being targeted with links to ‘services that don’t exist’ and ‘messages of tax refunds’.

We’ve seen tax-related DVLA scams before, such as this one from 2018:

Scams like this one prompted us to publish a fully comprehensive guide to DVLA scams, which echos much of the advice from the DVLA itself.

This includes remembering that you should only use GOV.UK sites for government services online.

In its press release, the DVLA’s chief information security officer also says:

“All our tax refunds are generated automatically after a motorist has told us they have sold, scrapped or transferred their vehicle to someone else so we don’t ask for anyone to get in touch with us to claim their refund”

If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam like this, contact your bank immediately and let it know what’s happened in as much detail as possible.

You can then read our guide on getting your money back after a scam.

Have you received one of these new DVLA scams? Have you got an example to share?

Please do let us know in the comments so we can help warn others.

You can also contact us directly with screenshots via email: conversation.comments@which.co.uk

Gary says:
11 March 2020

I received a text message saying I had some road tax to come back? They wanted too many details about my banking and life and non off the links worked on there site but for a few seconds I was convinced it was the dvla. Luckily I twigged on but I bet there’s many that won’t.

I received an e-mail saying my motorcycle was due tax
I looked at the link which looks quite genuine but there are printing discrepancies and I went onto the gov site. Clearly they have tried to copy from this And I’d imagine quite a few people will be fooled. Please use the gov. Com site to verify before any payments are sent. It’s quick easy and free

I think you mean ‘GOV.UK’ website to make vehicle tax payments. GOV.COM is for USA.

Yes, GOV.UK is a good place to find official services: https://www.gov.uk

I had a shock a little while ago. I entered my car reg. on Google as I was considering selling it and, simply out of curiosity, wondered what information was listed on there. Quick as a flash, came a message saying “Don’t buy this car it is a stolen car”. What a load of rubbish, and how on earth does anyone manage to put lies like that on a Google site without being questioned and the information verified? A few days later I had another try and just the usual info. was on there. Nothing surprises me any more about what lengths some people will go to to cause alarm and distress.

I received one of those emails last week. I deleted it right away. I have a very small car and pay almost no tax, therefore to suggest any money back was ridiculous. I am fairly savvy but it looks convincing and tempting thus able to lure many victims.

John Rogers says:
13 March 2020

Had this scam text
From DVLA: We’ve previously written to you via post regarding reviewing your driving license information which we hold. We’ve noticed that you’re still yet to do so. To avoid suspension of your driving license please review immediately here [Link Removed]

[Moderator: the link shared pointed to a fake site. Please use caution when clicking links you’re unsure about receiving. For more information see our Consumer Rights advice on spotting fake websites]

Yes, I tried to renew my mother’s over 70 driving licence online. I had received the renewal in the post and went on to what I thought was the genuine gov.co.uk website, which took me to the gov.co.uk site. When payment came up as 76.59 £ alarm bells rang! Obviously Spanish I thought as £ instead of euro sign after the amount. Of course, I know now it is free of charge!
Still getting text reminders to sign in with my address and giving me a code. Sabodell Bank, or something similar. Changed Mum’s bank card just in case. How can they infiltrate a gov website?

Alan Macro says:
13 March 2020

If the website had .gov.co.uk in it then it wasn’t a government website. Government (and council) websites end .gov.uk.

Anyone can set up a website ending .gov.co.uk

Nigel Browne says:
25 April 2020

I received a text from DVLA that I was due a refund from my MOT centre and to click on this link which I didn’t do just days after receiving one from them.

David Hyett says:
10 May 2020

I was also tricked in to entering details into a fake site but did not complete as I became suspicious. I have complained to the DVLA who informed me that I had not been charged as I did not complete. The inference is that the DVLA has a relatonship with this scamming company and share data. Other have also suggested that the scamming company is allied to the DVLA. Why does the DVLA not do something about this. A web site operating in this way can be taken down. I am now contacting my M.P. and will expect some action. This scam is well publicised and the DVLA forum full of complaints about it so why no action?