...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has issued a warning to drivers about scams that target people using its services.
The DVLA has urged motorists to remain vigilant against fraudsters and has provided tips to help people use genuine services rather than being caught out by scams aimed at tricking them out of their money.
According to Phil Morgan, the DVLA’s head of fraud policy investigations, one of the prime tactics used by scammers is to create websites that pretend to be the DVLA or a middle agency between the driver and the DVLA.
These third-party companies often charge a premium for passing on driver details to the DVLA, even though it may be cheaper or free to use the official gov.uk service.
The DVLA has cautioned people to avoid falling victim to these scams by ensuring that www.gov.uk is included in the URL when accessing services online.
The DVLA has also urged people never to disclose personal details, such as date of birth, National Insurance number, or driving licence number, on social media.
Similarly, scammers can steal information by accessing pictures of official documents such as a log book (V5C) or driving licence that have been posted on social media.
The DVLA has warned people not to share their V5 document reference number with potential buyers of their vehicle, as this information can also be used to commit fraud.
Mr Morgan said that there has also been a rise in fake social media accounts that either claim to be DVLA or affiliated with it in some way.
These accounts may promise to offer driving licence renewals or replacement documents more quickly, but an application made through a third-party company is not processed any faster than one received through the official gov.uk services.
To avoid being scammed, the DVLA has listed its official social media channels on gov.uk to enable people to be certain that they are accessing the correct channels.
The DVLA has emphasised that the best way to avoid being scammed is to only use the official gov.uk website and to be cautious about sharing personal information online.
The DVLA’s advice is particularly important given the increasing number of scams targeting drivers and the potential for fraudsters to gain access to personal information through social media.