DVLA scam warning: Britons targeted with threatening vehicle tax email
DVLA explain how to pay vehicle tax by Direct Debit
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Car owners have been targeted with a new scam in which fraudsters purport to be from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). In the fraudulent email, customers are told their last car tax payment was not received by the DVLA and are threatened with a fine or even the crushing of the owner’s cars.
In an email seen by Express.co.uk, the email address was not a legitimate DVLA address.
Instead, it came from a Hotmail account, which would not be an official form of correspondence from the driving authority.
The email asks customers to provide their credit card details via a link embedded in the body text.
There was also a number of noticeable spelling mistakes in the original email; a common sign of phishing attempts.
It reads: “DVLA have been notified electronically about you latest payment for your vehicle tax failed because there is not enough money on you debit card. Your vehicle is no longer taxed.
“We have generated a new invoice, and we suggest you to use a credit card instead of a debit, to avoid any other consequences that might appear in case again won’t be enough funds inside.”(sic)
It continues: “It’s illegal to drive your vehicle until you’ve taxed it.
“You will be fined £80 if you do not tax your vehicle or tell DVLA that it’s off the road.
“You’ll also have to pay for the time it was not taxed.
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“If you do not pay your fine on time your vehicle could be clamped or crushed, or your details passed to a debt collection agency.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the DVLA asking for comment.
The DVLA has previously warned it will never ask for customers’ bank details by email or text.
In a tweet, the DVLA said: “Scammers pretend to be DVLA giving false information through texts and emails ‘phishing’ for your information.
“Don’t fall for it. Make sure you use GOV.UK to find DVLA services and information.”
A spokesperson for the DVLA also previously stated: “The only website to access official information about DVLA and our services is GOV.UK.
“We don’t send emails or texts asking for bank details or vehicle tax refunds.”
The DVLA is frequently hit by scam attempts, and drivers are urged to remain cautious.
In the latter half of 2020, the DVLA said it received approximately 7,000 reports of car owners who had been sent emails, texts and phone calls in which the fraudster was posing as the DVLA.
All of these were scams, according to the driving authority.
Action Fraud has urged drivers to familiarise themselves with online safety and the basic traits of a scam, in a bid to stop them from falling victim.
They urged drivers to always use official Government channels.
They said: “Taking a couple of minutes to familiarise yourself with a few simple online safety tips can be significant in protecting yourself from becoming a victim of online fraud.
“You should always be cautious when sharing personal information online and avoid being scammed by only using GOV.UK for government services online, such as the DVLA.
“If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to us.”
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