Drivers targeted by DVLA refund scam

Fake e-mail offers motorists car tax refund. Here’s how to avoid the scam

Thousands of motorists are being sent scam emails falsely alleging to be from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA).

The official-looking email is part of a phishing attack flagged by the BBC Watchdog consumer show, which asks the recipient to follow a link and fill in their personal details. It’s possible these could then be used fraudulently.

Once opened, the email tells owners there’s an “outstanding vehicle tax refund of £239.35 from an overpayment request” and asks them to click on a link “to access the secure web form”. The brazen attempt to fool motorists is made all the more convincing by copies of official DVLA logos and even a link to report phishing e-mails and spam - the very thing the email is.

Unfortunately scammers have posed as the DVLA before, targeting drivers through text messages and other e-mail scams, several of which have also promised refunds for overpaid vehicle tax. The latest appears to be the most sophisticated and convincing so far.

How to stay safe from scammers

The DVLA has said it will never send links to another (third party) website, so if you spot a link in correspondence from the DVLA, be sure you know exactly where it leads before clicking on it. In a statement the agency said: “We don’t send e-mails 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 are using a computer or laptop, simply hovering your mouse pointer over a link should show you the URL before you click on it, helping determine if it’s safe to proceed.

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 unveiled
2021 Toyota GR86 - front 3/4 view
Toyota
6 Apr 2021

New Toyota GR86 unveiled

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

New Skoda Kodiaq unveiled for 2021
2021 Skoda Kodiaq Sportline static
Skoda Kodiaq
13 Apr 2021

New Skoda Kodiaq unveiled for 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks