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DVLA Update Driver’s Licence Phishing Scams

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Emails and text messages purporting to be from the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) claim that you must follow a link to update your driver’s licence details or payment information. Some versions claim that your licence will be cancelled if you do not comply with the instructions.

Brief Analysis

The messages are not from the DVLA. They are phishing scams designed to steal your personal and financial information. Information collected may be used by Internet criminals to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

Example

Subject: Update Your License Details

We are currently upgrading our database and all drivers are required to update and verify there driver’s license details.To complete your license verification with us, you are required to fill out the form in the link below.

[Link to bogus website removed]

Drivers that refuses to upgrade his or her details within two weeks of receiving this verification email will lose his or her driver’s License and will have to take a fresh driving test. We sincerely apologise for any inconviniences this might have caused you.

Thank you for your co-operation.
(c) Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Swansea SA6 7JL

 

Detailed Analysis

Since at least 2011, a series of scam emails and text messages claiming to be from the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have been targeting UK residents.

Many versions advise recipients that they must update and verify their driver’s licence details within a specified time frame or risk having their licence suspended. Other versions claim that the recipient’s payment details must be updated urgently to avoid a licence suspension. The messages instruct you to follow a link in order to complete the licence verification or payment update.

However, the messages are certainly not from the DVLA. If you follow the link, you will be taken to a bogus website that has been designed to look like the genuine DVLA website. Once on the fake site, you will be presented with bogus forms that ask for your driver’s licence number, your credit card details, your name and address, and other identifying information.

If you provide the requested details and click the “Submit” buttons on the bogus forms, you may then be redirected to the genuine DVLA website. Meanwhile, any information submitted on the scam website will be sent to the criminals running the phishing attack and may subsequently be used to commit credit card fraud and steal your identity.

The DVLA has warned the public about these phishing scams via a notice on its website, which notes:

We’re aware that some members of the public are receiving emails, texts and telephone calls claiming to be from DVLA. Links to a website mocked up to look like a DVLA online service are sometimes included in the message. 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 receive one of these messages, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

Phishing scammers use many and varied tactics to trick victims into handing over their personal and financial details. 

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer