Forever trying to get their hands on your hard-earned savings or personal data, scammers have devised yet another crafty scam. Here’s what to watch out for.
Scammers are once again posing as the DVLA in an attempt to con you out of your money.
Last time, they were tricking people into paying for driving licence renewals.
This time, they’re threatening final warnings for out-of-date vehicle taxes unless you pay up. And it’s quite convincing if you don’t know what to look out for.
It’s clearly no longer enough to send emails with poor spelling and grammar, asking for money to secure a big cash payment from a Nigerian prince or telling you you’ve won an international lottery…
Today’s scammers are far more sophisticated and you can easily fall victim unless you approach all emails which come out of the blue as a potential threat.
What to look out for
The DVLA vehicle tax email has all the hallmarks of a classic phishing scam if you look closely.
This is a copy of the scam email sent to a colleague:
You’ll see that while the sender identifies as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the email address is totally unrelated. Always make sure the email address comes from the official source.
The email server has identified this email as spam. Pay attention to this as they’re very apt at identifying spam or scam emails.
The threatening language in the email (tax your car … today to avoid unpleasant consequences) is also a red flag. Scammers do this to pressure you into acting quickly and not thinking through your actions properly.
So, would you have fallen for this phishing email? Here’s some advice from the DVLA’s to avoid being scammed:
- The DVLA will never send emails or texts which ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information.
- If you get any emails or messages asking for this, never open any links and delete it immediately.
- You should always report any scam to Action Fraud so it can be investigated. We have more free advice on how to report a scam on our Consumer Rights pages.
- Make sure you respond to emails that end in gov.uk to make sure you’re dealing with them directly.
- Never share images on social media that contain personal information, like your driver’s licence or vehicle registration papers.
- Always report misleading adverts to search engines.
How to spot a phishing scam
There are other tricks to stay ahead of the scammers. For example, always check the contact details and branding at the bottom. Are they what you’d expect and do they look legitimate?
You should also be very wary if an email is asking you to update or re-enter your personal or bank details out of the blue – it is likely going to be a scam.
Have you been sent any particularly convincing scam emails recently? Or have you fallen for one? Share your experience.