Scammers exploit change in tax disc rules

Emma Woollacott
Car tax disc
Car tax disc

Motorists are being targeted by fraudsters aiming to scam them out of their bank details by offering a 'refund' of over-paid car tax.

An email currently doing the rounds urges drivers to click on a link and hand over their banking information in return for the cash. If they don't do it within two weeks, claims the email, they'll be too late.

"We are currrently upgrading our database and we found that you are eligible to recieve a refund from your last payment made on our behalf. A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. As example, for submitting invalid records or applying over the deadline," it reads.

"To complete your refund application with us, you are required to fill out the form in the link below... If you refuses to complete your application within two weeks of receiving this email will cause the lose the specified amount and you will take full responsabilty for that. "

There are, of course, clues to the fact that the email is a fake: most notably, the several spelling and grammatical errors. But people in a hurry can easily miss these.

And the link does at first sight appear to lead to a genuine website - it's only when its actually clicked, or the mouse is allowed to hover over it, that the true link is revealed.

The email first appeared late last year, but has been doing the rounds once again following recent changes to the vehicle tax system.

Drivers no longer need to display a tax disc on their windscreen, with the information held on a central database instead. But - controversially - there's now no mechanism for selling the tax disc on, and car sellers can't claim a refund for part of a month. Many people, knowing they've overpaid, may be more susceptible to the scam.

"DVLA have not sent out an email asking customers to provide this information. DVLA does not ask customers to provide bank details via email," says the DVLA in a statement.

"We're aware that some members of the public have received these emails and we strongly advise anyone who receives one of these or any similar email, to ignore it and not to follow the instructions given."

Anyone who believes they've been a victim of this or any similar phishing fraud should report it to their bank and to the police, here.

Read more on AOL Money:

New car tax rules "make people pay twice"

Driver fined for missing tax disc - even though they no longer exist

Car tax changes - what does it mean for you?

End of Paper Tax Disc Could Boost Evasion by £130 Million
End of Paper Tax Disc Could Boost Evasion by £130 Million