People are being urged to be vigilant following reports of a new wave of scams claiming to be from the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The latest warning about the phoney email and text messages comes from Trading Standards officers at Staffordshire County Council.
Amongst the scams is a phoney email claiming that the latest vehicle tax failed to be processed because the billing details have change or expired. Like similar scams, the emails appear genuine and try to trick people into clicking on a link where they can make a payment. Clicking the link then takes people to a fake website where criminals try and steal their personal and financial details.
The DVLA have stated that they will never contact people via text or email with web links or to ask for personal details or advising of a refund.
Victoria Wilson is the Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council and said: “This is yet another quite worrying scam where criminals pretend to be an official organisation to try and steal your personal details and get access to your bank account.
“The emails do appear genuine and look official with DVLA graphics and wording. For example, they claim that the DVLA will automatically try to bill you in five working days and it prompts you to follow a link where you can update your details. The email also threatens people with a hefty fine of up to £1,000 if they don’t pay in time. This is the legitimate fine for untaxed vehicles, so again makes the email appear even more genuine.
“To keep yourself safe, if you are suspicious in any way, do not click on the link and instead report it to the DVLA or Citizens Advice. If you do end up on a website, always make sure it has a padlock, starts with’ https:’, and ends in ‘.gov.uk’. If you’ve already clicked a link and realise it’s a DVLA scam text or email, don’t input any personal or card details. If you’ve already put in your bank details or card information, you should contact your bank or card provider immediately.”
Other common DVLA scams include:
- DVLA final request text scam – This scam will usually have capitalised letters such as ‘ACTION REQUIRED’ or ‘FINAL REQUEST’ along with a link.
- DVLA vehicle tax refund scam – A common scam text that warns people about an outstanding vehicle-tax refund and usually includes the amount you’re supposedly owed, e.g. £53.20 and a link.
- DVLA trying to contact you text scam – In this scam text, people are told that the DVLA has been trying to contact them and that action is required, along with a link.
People should report any calls, texts, emails or suspicious online activity to the Police via Action Fraud immediately. Visit Report a phishing attempt | Action Fraud or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.