With car related crime on the increase from cloning registrations plates to more hi-tech illegal actives such as theft of vehicles with keyless entry systems, internet-based opportunists are out there too ready to prey upon vulnerable motorists.
The vast majority of vehicles owners will use and continue to use DVLA onsite services but it is a cause for concern for those who are not familiar or aware of the services and how these free services are processed by the DVLA.
Thanks to advanced search engine optimisation (SEO), websites are popping up in web searches offering and charging for online services that the DVLA are offering from free - in particular, SORN declaration online services.
These websites may look legitimate and have disclaimers that they are not affiliated with the DVLA and clearly display the charges for their services. But they are still scamming unsuspecting vehicle owners out of money for a service provided for FREE by the DVLA.
To declare your vehicle SORN visit www.gov.uk/make-a-sorn.
Scammers are also preying on vulnerable motorists by sending fake emails and text messages stating the unsuspecting motorist is due road tax refunds or that they face penalties or heavy fines for not declaring a vehicle SORN or paying road tax.
What To Look For
If you receive such email or text message, look for the following:
- Threatening language
- A generic greeting ie: Dear valued driver
- Poor grammar
- Spelling mistakes
- Request for personal information
- Incorrect URL web address
Legitimate businesses will never send unsolicited emails or text messages requesting to click on a link to enter or update personal data.
The DVLA states: “We don’t send emails or text messages with links to websites asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information. We strongly advise anyone who receives such a request not to open the link and delete the item.”
If you do happen to click on a link provided in these emails or text messages, the web page it takes you took may look convincing as an official DVLA webpage with the DVLA logo and similar page layout. Always check the web address (url) at the top of the screen. DVLA web address can be identified by .gov.uk.
Report any misleading websites, emails, phone numbers, phone calls or text messages you may think be suspicious.