Keeping you up to speed
Whenever something becomes expensive (such as applying for a driver’s licence), you can guarantee that there will be a host of fraudsters springing up pretending to save you money, when in fact all they are out to do is make money for themselves.
Here are is one scam that has come to light recently targeting all drivers, especially the young and less experienced, that we should be on the lookout for. It involves legitimate websites who offer a service that you don’t need and that costs way beyond its value.
When it comes to applying for a passport, you can pay a small extra fee to have your local Post Office check over your form to make sure that there are no problems. This is often well worthwhile as a delay could cause serious problems with your holiday or travel arrangements.
Sadly, many fraudsters have been inspired by this and have set up unofficial ‘official looking’ websites offering to help you apply for your driver’s licence, or make changes to your existing licence. These companies do little more than fill out the form for you, using the details you supply, yet they can charge over £100 for the privilege, which is more than the licence itself costs.
One such website found via a sponsored link offered what looks like an impressive list of services for their fee of £50 – £107. Yet on closer inspection, this amounted to little more than checking your licence application form and photo and sending them off. If you needed any extra help, that was available via a premium rate phone line at over £1.50 per minute – and one can only imagine the delaying tactics used to keep you on the line as long as possible.
Another website, purporting to be the DVLA Helpline, offers advice at £1.53 per minute… They do admit that the same advice is available free from the DVLA, and even provide a link – so you’ve been warned – which is how they get away with it.
At the end of the day, it is simple enough to complete a driving licence application form yourself. If you are unsure, simply ask a friend or relative to check it for you. If you are applying for your provisional licence and you aren’t used to filling in official forms, ask a parent, older brother or sister or your tutor at college. They won’t think you are stupid; most people hate filling in forms and will be only too happy to help.
What’s more, if you do have any problems, all the information and help you could possibly need can be found free of charge at the DVLA website, or you can call or write to them for free help.
Or write to:
Drivers Customer Services