Drivers should beware a text message scam which attempts to scare people into revealing personal information.
The message, which even appears to have the gov.uk logo, reads: ‘FINAL REQUEST: ‘DVLA Swansea have been trying to contact you, Click below for more information.’
A This is Money reader contacted us to warn about a text message scam and the link in the message may trick people as it has dvla.gov.uk as part of the URL, which in a snap moment may convince them to click on it.
Warning: Our reader sent in the fake message – and This is Money has found plenty of people posting about it on social media website Twitter
Additionally, many will be worried that they may be in trouble with the organisation, which is indeed based in the Welsh city of Swansea.
However, the DVLA has previously warned that it doesn’t send text messages with links to websites asking to confirm personal details or payment information.
The phony website may also include a range of nasties, including malware, a type of virus that lurks in your device to steal information, such as bank log-in details.
The reader, named April, says she would usually discard contact like this, but was almost tricked as she knew her car tax was due for renewal this week – and she has also signed up on the gov.uk for its reminder service.
It is not clear whether this is a targeted attempt to dupe her with the knowledge that her car tax is due – or whether scammers are just using a scattergun approach.
Sneaky: The text message has a website link that contains the words tax disc – as well as dvla.gov.uk
Also in the URL is the words tax disc. Although abolished in 2014, many still associate vehicle excise duty, widely known as car tax, with the old paper disc.
The DVLA says that some members of the public have received e-mails, texts and telephone calls claiming to be from the agency.
Links to a website mocked up to look like a DVLA online service are sometimes included in the message, as highlighted in this case.
It adds: ‘The Government, led by Cabinet Office’s Government Digital Service, will continue to investigate reports of organisations which may be actively misleading users about their services or acting illegally, taking swift action when necessary.
‘By using the online driving licence or vehicle tax transactions on GOV.UK you can be sure that you are dealing directly with DVLA.’
On social media website Twitter, This is Money found plenty more examples of the scam – with one claiming the domain is registered in Panama, while the DVLA says it is currently investigating:
Thank you bringing it to our attention. We are aware of this scam and are currently investigating this.
— DVLA (@DVLAgovuk) 30 January 2018
Last summer, the DVLA revealed e-mails that been sent to people, which had a link to a ‘secure web form’ that’s designed to collect personal information from unwitting recipients.
The correspondence targeting motorists says: ‘We would like to notify you that you have an outstanding vehicle tax refund of £239.35 from an overpayment, request a refund.’
The email looks legitimate and includes the DVLA’s existing logo and fonts – something that could dupe many motorists into sharing their personal data.
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