DVLA shares images of new online scams with warning as cases soar 600%

Monday, 14th December 2020, 2:30 pm
Updated Monday, 14th December 2020, 2:30 pm

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has released images of the latest online scams targeting motorists, and warned drivers to be more vigilant than ever.

Drivers are regularly targeted by criminals trying to steal money or personal details from them by posing as government agencies such as the DVLA.

The latest images show a variety of text and email-based messages concerning vehicle tax and driving licences, often claiming that a car tax payment has failed or a driver’s licence information is out of date. In every instance, they are designed to trick unwary drivers into sharing bank details or other sensitive personal details with the fraudsters.

They are being shared as new figures show a six-fold increase in the number of scams reported to the DVLA. Data from the agency shows a 603 per cent increase in reported fraudulent calls, texts and emails in the three months to September 2020 compared with the previous year. 

Phil Morgan, head of fraud policy investigation at DVLA, said: “These new figures demonstrate that scammers are becoming more persistent in their efforts to target motorists.

“These more recent scams may at first seem legitimate, however they are designed to trick motorists into providing their personal details. We never ask for bank or credit card details via text message or email, so if you receive something like this, it’s a scam.”

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Anyone who has received a suspicious email is being urged to report to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) via their suspicious email service: rep[email protected]. Suspicious texts can also be forwarded free of charge to your network provider on 7726. You can also report it to Action Fraud or police if you think you have fallen victim to such a scam. 

As well as forwarding any suspicious emails and texts, DVLA has five top tips for motorists to stay safe online:

  • Never share driving licence images and vehicle documents online
  • Never share bank details or personal data online
  • Avoid websites offering to connect to DVLA’s contact centre
  • Only use GOV.UK when looking for DVLA contact details
  • Immediately report it to the police via Action Fraud if you think you have been the victim of a scam

Sarah Lyons, NCSC's deputy director for economy and society, said: “It’s important to stay vigilant to suspicious messages as we know that criminals often imitate legitimate organisations like the DVLA to make their scam seem more convincing.

 “Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you’ve received an untrustworthy email or text message, but our latest guidance gives advice on how to spot the signs of a scam.

 “I’d also urge the public to continue to forward anything they think doesn’t look right to our Suspicious Email Reporting Service, [email protected], so we can take action to remove online scams.”