The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has issued a warning to motorists – following a common scam fraudsters use to obtain people’s bank details.
The warning was issued this week as scammers posing as DVLA officials send messages claiming the recipient has failed to properly compensate them for road tax. The messages say those who have received them could be fined up to £1,000 if they fail to comply and update their bank details – reports The Liverpool Echo.
In a social media post, the DVLA confirmed the cases are scams, urging drivers to simply ignore the text. If a driver enters their personal details, scammers could successfully drain their hard-earned money from their bank accounts – as well as use the license details to unknowingly commit major offenses on their behalf.
Read more: WhatsApp shares safety tips with users following popular scam defrauding thousands of users
Experts now warn of four other scams that motorists could fall victim to. Select Car Leasing says drivers stand to lose up to £5,000 if they fall for any of the downsides.
‘Too good to be true’ car insurance deals could cost you £785
Fraudsters often take the form of bogus car insurance providers. These scam artists, known as ghost brokers, sell “too good to be true” car insurance policies to drivers, unaware that they are buying a policy that is worthless.
According to the Association of British Insurers, the average cost of car insurance is £485. Victims of ghost brokerage could not only pay this premium but also a £300 fine when penalized for driving an uninsured vehicle.
Car adverts on Facebook could cost you £5.1k
Although Facebook Marketplace is a minefield for buying a used car, scammers also use the platform to advertise vehicles at bargain prices to attract potential buyers. An unlucky County Clare victim paid £5,179 (€6,000) for a car that was never delivered.
Professional scammers posing as private sellers pressure motorists to post a deposit, plus a surcharge for the delivery of the vehicle. They then take the money and flee – leaving the buyers without a car and without their money.
Scammers have also been known to use Facebook to sell stolen, deregistered or financed cars, knowing that there is minimal legal protection once an owner hands over their money.
Car buying scams can cost you £2,000
Not only can buying a car be risky, selling it online can be too. Some scam artists will show up for an in-person inspection of the vehicle being sold and distract the seller while an accomplice adds engine oil to the water tank.
The car will of course break down if driven, with the criminals claiming the seller tried to sell them a faulty car – they’ll use this as leverage for a significantly lower asking price.
The crooks will then drain the engine oil from the tank and resell the car to another completely unaware buyer. The Derbyshire Times found that in some reports victims of the scam were more than £2,000 worse off.
Fake driving licenses could cost learner drivers £600
Learner drivers have to wait a long time to take their driving test, due to a large backlog after the pandemic. Predictably, fraudsters are taking advantage of the wait and targeting young motorists who don’t want to wait to take their test.
Scammers are selling fake paper licenses and certificates online for £600 each, claiming they have indoor access to driving test centers and can pass learner drivers without having to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
However, young drivers are then left behind when no license card is issued and the fraudsters take the funds.
If you’re concerned about a scam or something that looks questionable, you can report it here.