Northumberland County Council is urging residents to be on their guard following a report of a new DVLA email scam.
On Tuesday, a Northumberland resident received a convincing email purporting to be from the DVLA claiming the recipient’s latest vehicle tax payment had failed.
The email stated: 'Your latest vehicle tax payment failed. It appears that some of the billing details associated with you might have expired or were otherwise changed. Our system will automatically retry the billing process once your billing details have been updated. It can take up to 5 working days for the records to update. In order to continue to the update page, please use the following link.’
To alarm the recipient and try and prompt them to act quickly the email then went on to warn ‘If you do not pay your vehicle tax on time you can be fined up to £1,000, or your details passed to a debt collection agency.’
This new scam is a twist on previous DVLA scams where members of the public received emails, texts and telephone calls claiming to be from the DVLA requesting bank details to refund an overpaid car tax bill.
Links to a website mocked up to look like a DVLA online service are often included in the scam messages.
The recipient is often asked for bank account details, date of birth, mother's maiden name and NI number. With this information the scammers can access your bank account or use your identity.
Philip Soderquest Head of Housing and Public Protection said: “Unfortunately scammers can be very convincing and persuasive and can con people into believing that they are legitimate. We are urging residents to be extra vigilant when passing on their details to a third party."
“ The DVLA does not send emails or text messages with links to websites that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information. If you get anything like this, you are advised not to open any of the links and to delete the email or text immediately.”