CRIMINALS are swindling drivers out of their hard-earned money using a range of different online scams.
Drivers are being urged to be extra vigilant when being offered a deal which is too good to be true.
A recent study by the DVLA has revealed there was a 20 per cent jump in online fraud cases, with 1,538 reported scams during the last three months of 2019.
The motoring agency has issued drivers with a warning on some of the biggest scams which are regularly fooling unsuspecting drivers.
Scammers are targeting Brits with links to services that don't exist and messages for tax refunds, all which are fake.
Drivers are also being offered information on how to remove penalty points from their drivers licences, which the DVLA says doesn't exist.
How to stay safe online
- Only use GOV.UK. When looking for information or using our online services, double check that you are using a GOV.UK webpage so that you can be sure that you’re dealing directly with DVLA.
- Scam emails. The DVLA never send emails that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information. If you get anything like this, do not open any links and delete the email immediately.
- Beware of misleading websites. Keep an eye out for potentially misleading third party websites. These sites will often offer to help you apply for a driving licence or tax your car but are likely to charge additional fees for services that you could get for free or at a lower cost on GOV.UK.
- Look out for premium rate websites. Look out for websites offering to connect you to our contact centre, as they are usually premium rate numbers.
- Be mindful of what you share online. Never share images online of your driving licence and vehicle documents. This personal information could be invaluable to those looking to steal the identity of a vehicle or its owner.
- Texts. The DVLA never send texts about vehicle tax refunds. Text scams often ask you to follow a link to provide credit card details. Never click on the link and delete the text straight away.
- Report any suspected scams. If you are concerned about any calls, texts, emails or suspicious online activity, you should report it to the police via Action Fraud immediately.
In other cases, driver and vehicle documents are on sale on the internet.
Motorists concerned about any calls, texts, emails or suspicious activity online must report these to the police via Action Fraud immediately.
David Pope, chief information security officer at the DVLA, said: "We’ve released examples of real life scams to help motorists understand when a scam is at work.
"These websites and messages are designed to trick people into believing they can access services that simply don’t exist such as removing penalty points from driving licences.
"All our tax refunds are generated automatically after a motorist has told us they have sold, scrapped or transferred their vehicle to someone else so we don’t ask for anyone to get in touch with us to claim their refund.
"We want to protect the public and if something seems too good to be true, then it almost certainly is. The only trusted source of DVLA information is GOV.UK
"It is also important to remember never to share images on social media that contain personal information, such as your driving licence and vehicle documents."
A spokesperson for Action Fraud said: "This can be a stressful time of year, sorting out finances for the year ahead. Fraudsters are aware of this and are using different ways to trick people.
"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."
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