DVLA Scams: Top Tips for Protecting Your Vehicle and Personal Data

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If you’re searching for ways to identify and evade DVLA scams, you’re on the right track. This article delivers straightforward insights into the tactics used by scammers and equips you with the tools to protect your personal data.

Key Takeaways

  • DVLA scams have increased significantly, with scammers using emails, texts, and fake websites to trick people into sharing personal and financial information.

  • Legitimate DVLA communications never request bank details through email or text and use the official gov.uk domain for services; individuals should verify the security of websites and look for HTTPS and a padlock symbol.

  • To stay safe from DVLA scams, individuals should avoid clicking on suspicious links, report scams to authorities, and contact the DVLA directly through official channels for any queries.

Recognising DVLA Scam Attempts

Illustration of fraudulent email and text messages - DVLA Scams

Reports of fraudulent DVLA communications, including emails and texts, have surged during the start of 2024. Scammers are getting craftier, employing a variety of tactics to trick unsuspecting individuals. A common indicator of these scam attempts involves generic language addressing recipients as ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘valued customer’.

What are the implications for you? This surge in scams potentially puts you at risk. Vigilance and data protection have never been more paramount. So, how can you distinguish legitimate messages from scams? Below, we outline some prevalent DVLA scam tactics to be mindful of.

Immediate Payment Requests via Text

Imagine receiving a text message from a seemingly official number, asking for immediate full payment information. Alarming phrases such as ‘ACTION REQUIRED’ or ‘FINAL REQUEST’ create a sense of urgency, and a link is conveniently provided for you to make the payment. The DVLA does not send text messages with links requesting payment details. They also do not send text messages advising of a refund..

These scam texts are often disguised to seem as if they’re from the DVLA, with scammers impersonating the official number to deceive you. Their objective is to manipulate you into divulging your bank details via the fraudulent link, intimidating you with fines for non-compliance. Be mindful, succumbing to this ploy could result in financial loss and potentially identity theft.

Emails Falsely Claiming Vehicle Tax Issues

Another prevalent DVLA email scam tactic, involves falsely claiming that a bank has declined a Direct Debit payment for vehicle tax, leading to the wrongful assertion that your vehicle is no longer taxed. The idea behind this tactic is to panic you, hoping you’ll act without thinking.

The truth is, these are scam emails, cunningly designed to dupe you into providing personal and banking and card details. Therefore, if you receive an email alleging vehicle tax issues, pause and evaluate its authenticity. Always independently verify the information via the DVLA offical website, or by telephone before acting.

Suspicious Links and Urgent Warnings

Have you ever received a message with a link that just didn’t look right? Perhaps it had unusual characters, or a string of numbers, or even multiple dots within the URL. These are common characteristics of suspicious links used in DVLA scam messages.

Clicking such links can result in malware installation or redirection to a counterfeit website designed to harvest your personal information. If you receive a suspicious DVLA text message, it’s recommended to delete the message without interacting with the links and text immediately report the incident directly to the DVLA.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Beware of Renew Driving Licence Scams: How to Avoid Online Fraud, read our informative article and learn how.

The Anatomy of a DVLA Scam Message

Illustration of a fraudulent DVLA scams

Scammers have become adept at crafting messages that closely resemble official DVLA communications. They may falsely claim vehicle tax refunds or notify about failed tax payments to dupe victims into sharing sensitive personal details. These scam messages often ask readers to update or verify their driving licence and bank details, exploiting concerns about finances.

Moreover, the sophistication of these scams is increasing, with email addresses echoing official communications, aimed at duping motorists into divulging sensitive personal details. Becoming familiar with these tactics can help you avoid falling prey to such email scams yourself. Let’s now dissect these scam messages and scrutinise the traps scammers lay.

Text Message Traps

Scam text messages claiming to be from the DVLA commonly propose vehicle tax refunds, suggesting that you are owed money due to a tax recalculation. They may also fraudulently ask drivers to verify their driving license details under the guise of offering a vehicle tax refund or notifying about a failed payment.

These texts typically include a fraudulent link, which is a key method for scammers to gather personal and financial information from unsuspecting individuals. The linked fake emails and fake websites will often appear legitimate to enhance their trustworthiness and encourage recipients to part with sensitive data.

Always adopt a ‘verify first, trust later’ approach.

Email Scam Signals

Scam emails can appear highly official, closely mimicking the DVLA’s actual email address with only minor discrepancies from the legitimate website. They often use general language such as ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘valued customer’ to address recipients. These emails also tend to create urgency with subject lines like ‘Vehicle Tax Status – Unpaid!’ that compel you to take action without delay.

However, identifying a scam can be as simple as checking the link provided in the scam email. The absence of a padlock symbol, or an HTTP address instead of HTTPS, suggests it is not a secure DVLA site. Stay alert to these signals to protect yourself from falling victim to email scams.

Steps to Take If You Suspect a DVLA Scam

Illustration of steps to take if you suspect a DVLA scam

If you think you’ve received a DVLA scam message, keep calm. There are measures you can take to safeguard yourself and contribute to halting these online scams. Primarily, refrain from clicking any links or responding to the suspicious message; rather, delete it instantly to ward off potential threats.

You can also forward any suspicious emails pretending to be from DVLA to the National Cyber Security Centre at report@phishing.gov.uk for investigation. And don’t forget to report any incidents that you suspect may be a scam to the police via Action Fraud in England and Wales or to Police Scotland if you’re in Scotland.

When You’ve Clicked a Link

If you’ve accidentally clicked on a suspicious DVLA link, don’t despair. While it’s crucial to avoid this, if it happens, you can still take steps to protect yourself. Do not enter any personal information and close the webpage immediately.

After mistakenly providing sensitive information, such as credit card details, on a fraudulent DVLA site, contact your bank or card provider immediately. You should report the DVLA scam by calling Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040 or using the online phishing reporting form.

To guard your bank account against unauthorised transactions following a scam, get in touch with your bank to halt any fraudulent payments.

If You’ve Shared Personal Information

If you’ve inadvertently shared personal information with scammers, take the following steps:

  1. Contact your bank immediately, especially if you’ve shared card or banking details.

  2. Alert your bank to the possibility of a scam if you’re promised tax refunds that may lead to unauthorised access to funds.

  3. Promptly report the incident to Action Fraud or Police Scotland.

It’s also crucial to take the following steps if you’ve been a victim of a scam:

  1. Change your passwords on all accounts immediately if you’ve shared them with a scammer.

  2. Use unique passwords for each account moving forward.

  3. If you notice unrecognised messages sent from your account or if you’ve been locked out, follow the standard procedures to recover a hacked account.

Finally, perform a thorough scan with antivirus software on your computer after opening a suspicious link or if you were instructed to install software by a potential scammer, and remove any identified threats.

How to Verify Genuine DVLA Communications

Illustration of verifying genuine DVLA communications

One of the best ways to protect yourself from DVLA email scams, is to know how to verify genuine DVLA communications. Official information and services from the DVLA are only accessible through GOV.UK, and the DVLA never asks for bank details over email.

When seeking DVLA services, always confirm that the URL ends with ‘gov.uk’ to ascertain you’re on the official site. Scammers might integrate ‘DVLA’ into their website’s URL or imitate the DVLA’s design to deceive users, but the URL might exhibit signs of fraudulence with strange characters or an excessive number of dots.

Always verify the security of the website by looking for ‘HTTPS’ in the address bar and the presence of a padlock symbol; the absence of these may indicate a scam site.

Safe Searching and Official Websites

To ensure your safety, only official vehicle licensing agency DVLA services are accessible through the gov.uk domain. Using GOV.UK for searching official government services, including DVLA matters, protects against deception by imitation websites, emails, and phone numbers.

A secure DVLA site exhibits indicators like a padlock symbol and HTTPS in the address bar, warning users of the potential dangers when these are absent on linked sites. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re accessing genuine DVLA services and protect yourself from online scams.

Contacting DVLA Directly for Confirmation

If you’re in doubt, the best course of action is to contact the DVLA directly for confirmation payment information. You can access official DVLA contact information and services through the government’s website at www.gov.uk/contact-the-dvla.

The DVLA offers the following contact options:

  • Official webchat service: Monday to Friday from 8 am to 7 pm, and on Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm, excluding public holidays.

  • Direct voice communication: DVLA contact centre at 0300 790 6802 during the webchat service operational hours.

  • Save chat transcript: Users can save a transcript of their chat with DVLA for future reference by clicking the ‘Save Chat’ button in the top left of the chat screen.

Protecting Yourself from Future DVLA Scams

Illustration of protecting yourself from future DVLA scams

Equipped with knowledge and vigilance, you can shield yourself from future DVLA scams. When seeking information or using online services, motorists should only use official GOV.UK webpages to ensure direct dealings with the DVLA, the official vehicle licensing agency.

Users are also advised to report misleading adverts to search engines to help protect others. By taking these steps, you can help make the internet safer for everyone and protect yourself from falling victim to these scams.

Educating Yourself on Scam Tactics

Education is your best defence against scams. By learning about different types of scams and staying alert, you can protect yourself from falling victim to future DVLA scams. Investing time in educating yourself about scam tactics will pay dividends in the future.

Keep in mind that scammers continually refine their tactics, so staying informed is crucial. Regularly consult reliable sources for updates on the latest scams and tactics. Knowledge is power – the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to protect yourself.

Vigilance with Personal and Vehicle Documents

Exercising vigilance with your personal and driving licence details is key to safeguarding yourself from scams involving the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Avoid sharing images or copies of your driving licence or vehicle documents online, as such sensitive information can be misused for identity theft.

Bank details and personal data should be kept confidential and not shared online to protect yourself from online scams. Review and adjust your social media privacy settings to limit exposure of personal information, and always confirm the identity of whom you’re communicating with online, especially for services like the DVLA.


DVLA scams have become increasingly prevalent, but with knowledge and vigilance, you can protect yourself. The key is to recognise scam attempts, understand their anatomy, and know the steps to take if you suspect DVLA scams.

Always verify the authenticity of DVLA communications, educate yourself on scam tactics, and be vigilant with your personal and vehicle documents. Remember, the strongest defence against scams is you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any scams involving DVLA?

Yes, there are scams involving the DVLA, where fraudsters imitate the agency to obtain drivers’ personal details through emails claiming unpaid taxes. Be cautious and verify the source and legitimacy of an email before providing any personal information.

How do I know if my DVLA email is genuine?

To know if a DVLA email is genuine, never respond to emails asking for personal information or payment or credit card details, either, as the DVLA doesn’t request this via email. Be cautious of third-party sites charging additional fees for DVLA services.

How do you report a scammer?

You can report a scammer by contacting the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to investigate and remove scam websites. Also, you can report the scam to Action Fraud either online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Why have I been charged by DVLA?

It is possible that you have been charged by a third-party website for DVLA-related services, such as renewing a driving license or applying for a provisional license. Be cautious when using third-party websites, as they may charge higher fees than DVLA for these services.

What are some common DVLA scam attempts?

Be cautious of immediate payment requests, emails about vehicle tax issues, and suspicious links with urgent warnings, as they are common DVLA scam attempts. – Stay safe online, be vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraud.

Useful Reference Websites

  1. Gov.uk (DVLA official website)https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency: The official site for the DVLA, offering the latest information, official guidance, and how to report scams.
  2. Action Fraudhttps://www.actionfraud.police.uk: The UK’s national reporting center for fraud and cybercrime. Provides advice on how to recognize and report DVLA scams.
  3. Citizens Advicehttps://www.citizensadvice.org.uk: Offers practical, impartial advice on how to deal with DVLA scams, including how to get your money back and how to protect your personal information.
  4. The AAhttps://www.theaa.com: Offers advice on motoring and security, including how to spot and avoid DVLA-related scams.
  5. RAChttps://www.rac.co.uk: Provides motoring advice, including information on current scams targeting drivers and how to protect yourself.
  6. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)https://www.ncsc.gov.uk: Provides expert advice on protecting yourself from cyber scams, including phishing attempts that may impersonate the DVLA.
  7. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)https://www.fca.org.uk: Offers information on how to protect yourself from financial scams, including unauthorized firms pretending to be the DVLA.
  8. Trading Standardshttps://www.tradingstandards.uk: Provides consumer protection information, including how to report scams and advice on avoiding them.
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With over three decades of experience in the heart of London’s financial sector, I have dedicated my career to the pursuit of robust cybersecurity practices and IT leadership. As a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI), I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table.

My journey in the field of cybersecurity has not only been about personal growth but also about sharing my insights with others. As an international speaker, I have had the privilege of addressing audiences worldwide, discussing the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital age. My passion for knowledge sharing extends to my work as an author and blogger, where I delve into the complexities of cybersecurity, offering practical advice and thought leadership.

In my role as a CISO and Head of IT, I have overseen the development and implementation of comprehensive information security and IT strategies. My focus has always been on creating resilient systems capable of withstanding the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

My Master’s degree in Cybersecurity has provided a solid academic foundation, which, when combined with my practical experience, allows me to approach cybersecurity from a holistic perspective.

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