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DVLA Update Driver's Licence Phishing Scams

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Emails and text messages purporting to be from the UK's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) claim that you must follow a link to update your driver's licence details or payment information. Some versions claim that your licence will be cancelled if you do not comply with the instructions.

Phishing Scam

Brief Analysis

The messages are not from the DVLA. They are phishing scams designed to steal your personal and financial information. Information collected may be used by Internet criminals to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.



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Subject: Update Your License Details

We are currently upgrading our database and all drivers are required to update and verify there driver's license details.To complete your license verification with us, you are required to fill out the form in the link below.

[Link to bogus website removed]

Drivers that refuses to upgrade his or her details within two weeks of receiving this verification email will lose his or her driver's License and will have to take a fresh driving test. We sincerely apologise for any inconviniences this might have caused you.

Thank you for your co-operation.
(c) Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Swansea SA6 7JL

Detailed Analysis

Since at least 2011, a series of scam emails and text messages claiming to be from the UK's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have been targeting UK residents. Many versions advise recipients that they must update and verify their driver's licence details within a specified time frame or risk having their licence suspended. Other versions claim that the recipient's payment details must be updated urgently to avoid a licence suspension. The messages instruct you to follow a link in order to complete the licence verification or payment update.

However, the messages are certainly not from the DVLA. If you follow the link, you will be taken to a bogus website that has been designed to look like the genuine DVLA website. Once on the fake site, you will be presented with bogus forms that ask for your driver's licence number, your credit card details, your name and address, and other identifying information.

If you provide the requested details and click the "Submit" buttons on the bogus forms, you may then be redirected to the genuine DVLA website. Meanwhile, any information submitted on the scam website will be sent to the criminals running the phishing attack and may subsequently be used to commit credit card fraud and steal your identity.

The DVLA has warned the public about these phishing scams via a notice on its website, which notes:

We’re aware that some members of the public are receiving emails, texts and telephone calls claiming to be from DVLA. Links to a website mocked up to look like a DVLA online service are sometimes included in the message. We don’t send emails or text messages with links to websites asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information. We strongly advise anyone who receives such a request not to open the link and delete the item.
If you receive one of these messages, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

Phishing scammers use many and varied tactics to trick victims into handing over their personal and financial details.



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Last updated: September 13, 2016
First published: 4th February 2011
By Brett M. Christensen
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