This email, which purports to be from the Fixed Penalty Office at the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), claims that your DVSA receipt is included in an attached Microsoft Word document. The email implies that you previously requested that the DVSA send you this receipt.
The email includes an address, phone number, and website link for the DVSA and tacks on the type of legal and security statement that you might expect to see on a legitimate government message.
However, the email is not from the DVSA and the attached Word document does not contain a penalty receipt. If you attempt to open the Word document, you will be prompted to enable macros, supposedly so that the ‘receipt’ can be securely displayed. However, if you do enable macros as requested, the malicious macro that subsequently runs will download and install further malware components.
The DVSA has published a warning about this attack, which notes:
DVSA is aware that some members of the public have had emails claiming to be from the DVSA Fixed Penalty Office. The emails contain an attachment to a ‘fixed penalty receipt’.
DVSA never sends fixed penalty notices to customers by email.
If you receive one of these emails, do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains. Unless you have a good knowledge of macros and have a specific reason for using them, it is best to leave them disabled in Microsoft Office.
If you are unfamiliar with macros and their potential dangers, please refer to this other Hoax-Slayer article, which provides more information about the topic.
Subject: DVSA RECEIPT
Please find attached your receipt, sent as requested.
(See attached file)
Fixed Penalty Office
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency | The Ellipse, Padley Road, Swansea,
Phone: 0300 123 9000
Find out more about government services at www.gov.uk/dvsa
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are
addressed. Any views or opinions presented may be those of the
originator and do not necessarily represent those of DVSA.
If you were not the intended recipient, you have received this email and
any attached files in error; in which case any storage, use,
dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email or its
attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please destroy all copies and notify the sender
[and email@example.com ] by return email.
DVSA’s computer systems may be monitored and communications carried on
them recorded, to secure the effective operation of the system and for
other lawful purposes.
Nothing in this email amounts to a contractual or other legal commitment
on the part of DVSA unless confirmed by a communication signed on behalf
of the Secretary of State.
It should be noted that although DVSA makes every effort to ensure that
all emails and attachments sent by it are checked for known viruses
before transmission, it does not warrant that they are free from viruses
or other defects and accepts no liability for any losses resulting from
infected email transmission.
Visit www.gov.uk/dvsa for information about the Driver Vehicle and Standards Agency.
The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government Secure Intranet virus scanning service supplied by Vodafone in partnership with Symantec. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.) This email has been certified virus free.
Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Email includes an attached file named: Fixed Penalty Receipt.docm
Last updated: February 15, 2016
First published: February 15, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
Fixed penalty scam email: warning for DVSA customers
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Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!