DVLA car tax scams are common with criminals regularly posing as the driver and vehicle licensing agency to try and extort cash out of unsuspecting drivers.
The scams are usually text messages or email sent to the motorist requiring them to act immediately and provide their banking information.
They usually use urgent or threatening language and are related to overpayments or underpayments of tax.
While many motorists may be aware that these messages are fraudulent and the DVLA wouldn’t contact them by text or email, there are cases of drivers falling for these scams.
Dave Pope, Chief Information Security Officer at DVLA, said: “When looking for contact details or any of DVLA’s digital services, you should only use GOV.UK so you can be sure that you’re dealing directly with DVLA.”
“Posting on social media is a way of life for most drivers, however they may not realise they risk setting themselves up as a prime target for fraudulent activity.
“People can stay ahead of the criminals by being vigilant with their personal information and who they share it with, and reporting anything suspicious to the Police via Action Fraud.”
The DVLA also shares regularly on Twitter that drivers should “Delete the message and don’t click the link” if they receive it.
“We don’t send emails or text messages that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information, such as for a vehicle tax refund,” it said on gov.uk.
“If you get anything like this, don’t open any links and delete the email or text immediately.”
The motoring agency also tweeted a link to four separate car tax scams to reveal what kind of messages motorists are being sent by criminals.
The first image is related to a failed car tax payment by the driver and threatens that the car owner could be fined £1,000 if they do not take action immediately.
It reads: “Your latest vehicle tax payment failed. It appears that some of the billing details associated with you might have expired or otherwise changed.
“Our system will automatically rely on the billing process one your billing details have been updated.
“It can take up to 5 working days for the records to update. In order to continue to the update page, please use the following link.
“Please note: If you don’t pay your vehicle ta on time you can be fined up to £1,000, on your details passed to a debt collection agency.”
The second scam says that the driver is not up-to-date with their vehicle tax and the email was a ‘last chance’ reminder from the firm.
The third message says that there is an ‘outstanding vehicle tax overpayment’ and a link to claim a refund.
The fourth reads “ACTION REQUIRED: The DVLA have been trying to contact you, Click below for more information.”
The DVLA waned: “Beware of vehicle tax #scams like these and remember, the only place to find government information and services is gov.uk”
A spokesperson for the agency said: “We don’t send emails or text messages that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information, such as for a vehicle tax refund.
Here are steps to follow to ensure you stay safe online:
- Only use GOV.UK so you can be sure that you’re dealing directly with DVLA.
- Never share images on social media that contain personal information, such as your driving licence and vehicle documents.
- Report online scams to Action Fraud.
- Report misleading adverts to search engines.
- Keep up to date with internet safety – read more about online scams and phishing, and how to stay safe online.