CLASSICS HIT BY FRAUDSTERS POSING AS DVLA
FBHVC calls for action to take on the criminals targeting classic drivers’ bank details – we show you how to protect your money
Scammers posing as the DVLA in an attempt to grab your bank details are increasingly targeting classic car owners with fake emails and text messages, it has emerged. The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs says it will discuss with the DVLA how to prevent owners from being affected by the messages, purportedly from the vehicle registration agency. Communications director Geoff Lancaster says: ‘It makes sense that classic owners are most at risk. This scam is increasingly sophisticated and something needs to be done about it. ‘ We’ll be in talks with the DVLA about the next steps. In the meantime, people need to listen to the advice from the DVLA, and be extra vigilant online.’
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs says it will be speaking to the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency about how to tackle a rash of scam messages being sent to classic car owners.
Both the vehicle registration agency and the FBHVC are concerned that owners may be caught out by emails and text messages sent by fraudsters posing as the DVLA, which have increased significantly over the past six months.
The scammers attempt to steal bank account details, either by claiming that a vehicle owner needs to get in touch or that they are due a tax refund.
It is widely believed that cyberhackers are aiming at classic car owners because of their average age and expendable income. Scams such as these are aimed at owners who regularly swap vehicles, or who own classics recently switched to tax-free status.
FBHVC communications director Geoff Lancaster says: ‘It makes sense that classic owners are most at risk. This scam is sophisticated and something needs to be done.
‘ We’ll be in talks with the DVLA about the next steps. In the meantime, people need to listen to the advice from the DVLA, and be extra vigilant online.’
The agency first issued warnings to people last June, but car owners to whom CCW has spoken say they are still being sent texts and emails from would-be fraudsters.
The scam has spread nationwide, hitting people in London, Belfast, Cheltenham, Luton, and Oxford. Celebrities haven’t been left out either – Grand Tour TV star James May has received a fake message in the form of a text message. The DVLA says it is aware that some members of the public are receiving messages purporting to be from Swansea’s representatives, and stresses anyone who does should delete them and not click any links within them.
The agency says: ‘Our warning to anyone would be that we don’t send texts or emails about vehicle tax refunds or asking for motorists to confirm their personal details or payment information.
‘Regarding vehicle tax refunds, we automatically issue a refund for any full months of tax left on the vehicle when we are notified it has been sold, declared off the road (SORN), exported or scrapped.’
‘The DVLA issued warnings last June but owners are still getting scam texts’
Fraudsters posing as the DVLA view classic owners as particularly ripe for online scams.