DVLA Scam - what can they do with this information?

Hi there, 
My Partner has unfortunately fallen victim to a DVLA Scam website. He needed to renew his Drivers License and clicked on the first Google result (https://apply.vehicleassit.co.uk/ - not realising it was an Ad). He was using his iPad which made the website look more believable.
He was charged £95 for their 'services', it looks like this is a larger 'company' of many similar clone websites, as there are many that have appeared through TrustPilot with many other unfortunate victims. He has emailed them straight away to cancel his contract/order with them, stating the 14-day cooling-off period etc. He contacted his bank immediately and since it is a pending transaction they can't act on it until it has cleared however they will file a dispute. Some people seem to have received a full refund from the company after many emails, although I do hope the bank will be able to do this straight away.

My main concern is the information he gave away, they asked for all of the numbers/details on his current license, name, address, passport number (currently out of date), national insurance number and card number for payment (not bank details). My main question is, what can a scammer do with this info? My mind goes straight to opening credit cards, loans etc. We will be contacting the Passport Office to see if we can cancel the old passport number and/or apply for a new one straight away. CIFAS looks like it could be worthwhile also. If anyone has any advice of things we can do to avoid any potential identity theft it would be most appreciated.

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 35,242
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    edited 4 May 2021 at 4:52AM
    Don't worry. It's not a scam.

    They didn't want the data for anything nefarious. They simply wanted him to pay a massive fee for something he could have done himself for less effort, which he's now done.

    Nothing more to worry about until he next needs to renew something online.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,475
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    There have been numerous threads about these sorts of companies over the years.
    Google say:
    "We have strict policies that govern the types of ads and advertisers we allow on our platforms. We only allow governments or their delegated providers to advertise for official documents or services."

    which clearly is not true as when I checked yesterday for 'driving licence renewal' the top 4 results were Ads, GOV.UK was the 5th.


    This thread discusses a similar company:

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6242903/licence-safe-scam#latest

    There is a link to a BBC article about this towards the end of that thread:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56886957

    If your concern is about being scammed, you may be interested in what Martin Lewis said in that article:

    "They are not scams, they're shysters," said Martin Lewis, founder of the website Money Saving Expert.

    "They're not stealing your money, they're charging you a fee for something that is completely pointless."

    so your partner hasn't been scammed. As zx81 says, he's just paid £79 for something that should cost £17.00 (or free if over 70).
    The website used says the fee is £79 so where has the £95 come from?

  • Pollycat said:
    There have been numerous threads about these sorts of companies over the years.
    Google say:
    "We have strict policies that govern the types of ads and advertisers we allow on our platforms. We only allow governments or their delegated providers to advertise for official documents or services."

    which clearly is not true as when I checked yesterday for 'driving licence renewal' the top 4 results were Ads, GOV.UK was the 5th.


    This thread discusses a similar company:

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6242903/licence-safe-scam#latest

    There is a link to a BBC article about this towards the end of that thread:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56886957

    If your concern is about being scammed, you may be interested in what Martin Lewis said in that article:

    "They are not scams, they're shysters," said Martin Lewis, founder of the website Money Saving Expert.

    "They're not stealing your money, they're charging you a fee for something that is completely pointless."

    so your partner hasn't been scammed. As zx81 says, he's just paid £79 for something that should cost £17.00 (or free if over 70).
    The website used says the fee is £79 so where has the £95 come from?

    Thank you for your reply. They have replied to his email and it looks like they may refund the full amount as they have supposedly had issues applying for his renewal. 

    Regarding the £95, they advertise one price and then charge £17 DVLA fee! 
    Like I said before, we are more concerned about what they can do with his information and where it will end up. There’s things we can do but the NI number we of course can’t change. 
  • Hasbeen
    Hasbeen Posts: 4,404
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    edited 4 May 2021 at 3:41PM
    Hi there, 
    My Partner has unfortunately fallen victim to a DVLA Scam website. He needed to renew his Drivers License and clicked on the first Google result (https://apply.vehicleassit.co.uk/ - not realising it was an Ad). He was using his iPad which made the website look more believable.
    He was charged £95 for their 'services', it looks like this is a larger 'company' of many similar clone websites, as there are many that have appeared through TrustPilot with many other unfortunate victims. He has emailed them straight away to cancel his contract/order with them, stating the 14-day cooling-off period etc. He contacted his bank immediately and since it is a pending transaction they can't act on it until it has cleared however they will file a dispute. Some people seem to have received a full refund from the company after many emails, although I do hope the bank will be able to do this straight away.

    My main concern is the information he gave away, they asked for all of the numbers/details on his current license, name, address, passport number (currently out of date), national insurance number and card number for payment (not bank details). My main question is, what can a scammer do with this info? My mind goes straight to opening credit cards, loans etc. We will be contacting the Passport Office to see if we can cancel the old passport number and/or apply for a new one straight away. CIFAS looks like it could be worthwhile also. If anyone has any advice of things we can do to avoid any potential identity theft it would be most appreciated.
    Again not a Scam as such.
    Just another person not bothering to read the wording on the first page of the link you have posted. As clearly shown below.

    Our Services

    Licence Services offers a turnkey solution to assist you with your Driving Licence applications, to keep your Licence protected, to assist you on any Driving Legal issue and to benefit of exclusive discounts on many car-related products and services. 
    We only charge £79 for our services for a full year: no subscription, no hidden cost; and are detailed below:

    The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good. Napoleon
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,475
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    Yes, they used to hide the fact that they were not the official website in the T&Cs but now it usually appears on the home page.

    Like this:
    • Admin

      Use our simple step by step solution to apply, renew and replace your UK Driving Licence. By choosing our services, your application will be thoroughly checked for any mistakes or omissions before being processed to DVLA. This ensures your application being completed as quickly as possible with minimal delay. Please note, Licence Services is in no way affiliated with the government. You can apply onto the UK Government website or DVLA to benefit from a reduced cost.


    The bolding is not mine, that's how it appears on the website.

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