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Don’t be caught out by on-line fraud – DVLA warns

The DVLA is urging road-users to stay safe from online fraud, after spike in reports of fraudulent websites charging for services

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THE DVLA is warning all road users to be vigilant online after 1,200 people have reported being charged more for services than they need to by using unaffiliated websites.

The websites are charging customers more than they need to be charged, for services that are either completely free or vastly cheaper on the official GOV.UK website. Because of this, the DVLA is urging road users to only use GOV.UK for any instance where the DVLA should be dealt with, to ensure they are getting the best deal.

The push comes after figures released today show that the DVLA has been contacted more than 1,200 times since January 2020 in relation to websites charging premium fees for DVLA services. These could range from changing your address on your licence or V5C, or renewing a driving licence for those over 70.

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Guy Anker, deputy editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said:

“These copycat sites aren’t illegal, but they dress up like legitimate webpages, and use clever tricks to appear higher on search engines. They get you to fill in forms, which requires no more work on your part than if you’d done it yourself via the official sites, and then they overcharge you for ‘administration’ or ‘services’ – which is really just passing it to the relevant body, with no extra work involved. These services are usually free or much cheaper if you do it yourself, which can leave a very sour taste.

“The obvious red flag that you’re on a copycat site is if you’re being charged for something that’s usually free – such as updating your vehicle log book (V5C) when you’ve changed your address. Another tell-tale sign is the web address, so if you should be on a government website, carefully inspect it to make sure it says GOV.UK. It’s also worth knowing the true price of a paid-for service – in the past we’ve spotted firms offering ‘checking services’ for driving licence renewals at a cost of £60, more than four times the £14 it costs to do it through GOV.UK.”