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Vehicle Tax Scam Messages Revealed & How to Stay Safe

Beware of car tax scam messages sent by fraudsters, how they try to trick you – and how to stay safe online

How vehicle tax scams work

Beware of the cruel, heartless, vehicle tax fraudsters that try to steal your money via scam messages, The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency emphasised on social media. The modus operandi of these callous crooks is to contact you by e-mail or text. Such a message:

  • Claims to be from the DVLA
  • Refers to your penalty, reward or failed payment
  • Demands a response
  • Instructs you to follow a link to a website
  • Asks for personal information and/or payment data

E-mail scam 1

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Here is an example of a spam email sent to one of our employees so you can recognise the pattern, stay safe, and deny criminals the opportunity to take your money. Consider, for example, the following e-mail that is titled ‘Your latest vehicle tax payment failed - Customer Number 3016561949’. The scam message itself reads: 'Your latest vehicle tax payment failed. It appears that some of the billing details associated with you might have expired or were otherwise changed'.

The e-mail then instructs you to follow a link to a page that harvests your personal information. It further claims there are consequences if you do not comply. It says: ‘Please note: If you don’t pay your vehicle tax on time you can be fined up to £1,000’. It then threatens to pass your details to a debt collection agency.

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Email scam 2

There is another scam e-mail titled ‘You are not up-to-date with your vehicle tax (Item Ref. No – D-652946224986353610612281)’. The e-mail states: ‘Our records show that you are not up-to-date with your vehicle tax. This is a reminder (V11) and a last chance warning letter from us.’ It then claims you must tax your car, motorcycle or other vehicle now to avoid ‘unpleasant consequences’.

Text message scam

Criminals also target you via text message. Rather, however, than threaten sanctions one such scam offers a reward. It says: ‘You are eligible to receive tax refund. Please confirm refund via’ The message then reveals a link to the crook’s website that asks for your personal details so a ‘so-called refund’ can be processed.

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How to avoid scam messages

The DVLA further revealed how to steer clear of fraudsters. Remember, that it never sends e-mails that request personal information. It also never sends texts that relate to vehicle tax refunds. Do not enter any of your personal details and delete such messages immediately. 

It happened to on the 24th feb. the number they used was +447752041151. if it helps anyone.

I have had a number of these emails mainly saying I am due a rebate. How stupid can they be .I would know if I have a rebate or not. I just totally ignore them

Never seen the warnings from the DVLA. Mind you I don't do Twitface or Chitter. Probably accounts for why I've not seen the scams either.

What is it with people today, I have £500,000 pounds to give away before 5.30 pm. Please forward your bank details by this comments page so I can pay the £500,000 direct to your bank account. This is not a scham.

I recognise scams by the poor grammar or spelling like, ‘employees’s’ or something like that.

I received two of those emails last week - spam filter did a great job, though I knew they didn't apply to me as I still go to the Post Office and pay cash. As far as I know the DVLA doesn't know my email address...


I had an email saying my tax had failed I logged on to my bank and checked and it hadn't if you are using a smart phone for email click on the senders email and it does not come up with DVLA I sent my email to the phishing scam email address the Gov runs this and they deal with it

So what are you going to do with my bank details?

Strikes me that our government in an effort to "save money" are relying more on technology, which is playing right into the hands of these scammers. A big mistake to do away with tax discs.

Alas Michael, poor spelling and grammar are no guarantee any more that a message is fake. At work today (in the I.T. sector) I received a job ticket asking me to "get the bandwich" of a network circuit. Which I can only assume is some sort of bacon sandwich.

So still safest to go with the form you get in the post to the Post Office and pay for a year in one go, note in your diary when it's due again, and ignore all this online stuff. That's progress!