Islanders urged to be aware of ‘DVLA’ phishing scam

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The Arran public are bombarded with telephonic and electronic scams of all types on a daily basis but one Banner reader recently received a realistic looking phishing email which he thought might be worth sharing with others in the hope of protecting them from falling prey to fraudsters.

Alastair Bilsland of Brodick received an email, purporting to be from the DVLA, stating that his car vehicle tax renewal had failed and that he had to make a payment by following a link provided in the email.

The email appeared legitimate with GOV.UK headers and applicable reference numbers, including a threat that there would be a penalty if the vehicle was not taxed, along with a penalty for late payment.

Alastair Bilsland warned others to be on the lookout for this particular scam, saying: ‘ I have no doubt it is a scam but I wondered whether it would be worth letting other readers be aware of this, it is a new one for me.’

The email said, ‘DVLA have been notified electronically about you latest payment for your vehicle tax failed because there is not enough money on you debit card. Your vehicle is no longer taxed.

‘We have generated a new invoice, and we suggest you to use a credit card instead of a debit, to avoid any other consequences that might appear in case again won’t be enough funds inside.

‘You must tax this vehicle before it is driven on the road, tax now (link provided). It’s illegal to drive your vehicle until you’ve taxed it. You will be fined £80 if you do not tax your vehicle or tell DVLA that it’s off the road. You’ll also have to pay for the time it was not taxed.’

Phishing is defined as the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce people to reveal personal information, passwords and credit card numbers or to trick people into parting with their money.

Details on how to avoid falling prey to fraudsters can be found on the website of the National Cyber Security Centre at which helps internet users to recognise scams, how to avoid them and where to report them.