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DVLA Scams | What to Avoid and How to Spot Them

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By Saoirse McClure Fisher

calendar 23-07-2021 tag MAINTENANCE clock 5 min read

Ok, so some of us may argue that the current road tax is highway robbery, but that’s a different article. Had a funny text from ‘the DVLA’? It is becoming a regular occurrence that thousands of motorists are receiving scam messages designed not to help but to solicit their details for sinister purposes. Today, we will quickly run through some of the most common scams out there and what you must-do if you think you might be under threat.


DVLA Scams | The Usual Suspects

Ok, here it is, a list of the most common types of DVLA scams out there at the moment. 

DVLA Final Request Text

This text arrives with a clickable link. The text in the message will often include a short sentence designed to make you panic and click without thinking. It normally looks something like this: -

“Our records show that you are not up to date with your vehicle tax. This is a final request from us before we take court action. You MUST tax your vehicle even if you don’t have to pay for anything’ Click here to start….”

The DVLA has published guidance as to what to do in the event of receiving these messages. They are categorical in stating that they don’t send texts or emails in the event of missed payments…

We’ve never been so glad to receive a ‘red letter’.

DVLA Tax Refund

Another on a similar theme. If they can’t encourage you to pay, they resort to bribery, claiming that you are owed a vehicle tax rebate… All you have to do is click a link, provide your bank details and get your ‘payment’.

Yeah, right.


Contact the DVLA Scam Text

This one doesn’t offer any financial incentive. Instead, it is designed to make you click the link to find out why they were trying to contact you.

Top hint. It’s fake. No one is wanting to get in touch.

DVLA Failed Payment Email Scam

This one is particularly nasty. It will claim that a payment you made hasn’t worked. Not so bad, except that it threatens a £1000 fine if you don’t click on a link and provide your details within 5 days.

Here’s what to do…

Delete the email, don’t click on the link.

DVLA Not Up to Date Email

This is a variation on all of the above themes. An email will claim ‘you are not up to date with your car tax. It will often have a clickable and official-looking link leading you to a site that will ask for your personal details.

Removing Penalty Points

This one would be nice if it were true.

Let us state quite categorically…

No service or business can magically ‘vanish’ penalty points from your licence. 

Any text from anybody claiming that you can do this is fraud.


What to Do if You Receive a Scam DVLA Message | 5 Top Tips


Ok, so your phone has pinged, and there’s something dodgy sat in your inbox. Here are a few key steps you must take to make sure you stay safe: -

If Possible, Don’t Open The Message.

Ever used a text message service that offers ‘read receipts’. Scammers use these too! Chances are that your number has come from somewhere other than the DVLA. Several companies have accidentally leaked contact info over the years.

Scammers are playing a game of chance. If you read the message, it may confirm your number is ‘active’, opening you up to further messages in different forms. 

Our advice?

Leave the message closed and trash it. The DVLA doesn’t text about things requiring urgent attention.

If You’ve Opened the Message, DO NOT Click On Any Links

Often the link will look very official. It’s what is behind it that is sinister.

With some links, you are taken to sites that are infected with malware, spyware and viruses. Some of which can access data on your computer or device without your input.

The safest course of action is not to click on any links unless you can be certain that you know where they are from.

If You’ve Clicked on The Link, Don’t Provide Details

If you have clicked on a link, it might be apparent that all is not what it seems. Check the URL (or address for your non-techy types)… Anything other than is not an official source. 


Inform The DVLA 

The government has a specific department for dealing with fraudsters, and they work hard to prevent it. By giving them the information, you can reduce the possibility of receiving further messages in the future. You can find the details right here.

If You’ve Fallen For A Scam, Don’t Feel Bad… Protect Yourself

Listen, it happens to the best of us. These fraudsters are clever.

Normally the aim of the texts is to steal money from your account. If you think you’ve been duped, the first thing to do is call your bank and place a block on your account. This will prevent fraudsters from taking any money even if they have your details.

You might have the inconvenience of ordering new cash or credit cards. Fortunately, most banks can have them with you within a day at most.


It’s a sad fact that there are people in the world who want something for nothing. Hopefully, our quick and easy guide to DVLA scams should give you an idea of what to do. Never give out information voluntarily, especially if you have been proactively contacted. If in doubt, say you’ll call the DVLA back. That way, you can be sure of who you are talking to.

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