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Driving licence application scam
85

catmadcaz · 09/07/2013 14:21

My daughter has decided to learn to drive so needs a Provisional licence. So yesterday she put dvla provisional licence in her computer and up came the sites. DVLA Provisional - drivinglicence.uk.com‎
www.drivinglicence.uk.com/ was the first 4 entries

So she used the first one applied paid with my card the £50.00 application fee... was emailed a ref number.. so far so good.

Today she realised she had been had it was a scam it is a driving licence checking site like the passport check only they charge £50.00 the same fee as a licence.

I wenr on the site and read it through throughly and she will have to another £50.00 for her yes you guessed her provisional, from the real DVLA.

All she has paid for is a FREE application form available from the post office.

I like a fool gave her my card to pay for it and didn't think to check the site as she is 19 and very computer savvy.

Anyone else been had?

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dexter73 · 09/07/2013 14:31

There was a thread on here about someone who did this with their passport and they got the charges refunded. I will try and find it. Unfortunately it isn't a scam as they aren't doing anything fraudulent.

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dexter73 · 09/07/2013 14:35

Here is the passport thread. There might be some info on there about how to cancel your application.

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CuthbertDibble · 09/07/2013 14:38

I think you should have seven days to cancel under the distance selling regulations.

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Almostfifty · 09/07/2013 14:42

Contact your credit card provider. They may well cancel the charge.

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compost · 09/07/2013 14:42

Gosh what a bloody rip off. Watcvh out too, when she applies for her theory test. There are sites who charge to book you in, on top of the fee to take it.

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MumnGran · 09/07/2013 14:45

Sadly, because you say that when you read the site details in full it was clear exactly what they were providing, there is probably little comeback. It is only fraudulent if it is unclear/inaccurate as to what people are paying for.
AFAIK there is nothing to stop people charging whatever they like for goods or services .....if people will pay.

So, all down to whether they are make clear what is on offer.

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Poledra · 09/07/2013 14:54

There are similar scam websites for getting your EHIC card (the health card for travelling in Europe). It's free if you apply through the NHS website but there's plenty of scam sites that'll charge you for it.

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LIZS · 09/07/2013 15:00

Also for Visas and ESTA documents

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catmadcaz · 09/07/2013 17:59

Thank you Dexter that was really helpful. I have emailed the guardian champions if only to draw attention to this horrible way of getting people to spend double the fee.

cuthbertdibble I have sent them a recorded delivery letter to try and cancel but have read lots of bad press on this company. As they say they start to process as soon as you recieve the email with the refrence on it.
No one has had a refund. Also if you phone them it is £1.50 min plus some rip off conection fee.

I guess we will have to put it down to experience but what an expensive way to learn.

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TheArmadillo · 09/07/2013 18:12

When looking for any website belonging to the government always look for one ending in .gov

Or go through the direct.gov website to get to the applications you want.

There are loads of these websites - land registry, valuation office, tax credits etc.

Contact trading standards at your local council for advice/help.

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LIZS · 09/07/2013 18:54

Presumably not only do they make money from the overinflated "service" but gather personal details for spamming direct marketing too.

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Helyantha · 13/08/2013 17:16

My DS has just done this. He applied before we went away on holiday & we let him complete the application online himself. I only realised what he had done when the application form asked for another £50. The website(s) are very plausible & it is quite hard to find the correct site.

As we are now 3 weeks on, &, as OP says, the phone line is another rip-off, I have no idea what to do. His birthday money is supposed to pay for his licence, but I feel mean taking £100!

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reeter · 21/08/2013 21:01

If you know anyone who is about to send for their Provisional Licence on line. when you google DVLA. gov the link below will be your first choice check carefully as the link below although looks like the official DVLA site, it is a scam you fill in your details charge you £50 the same amount as the DVLA only to send you a DVLA form which you then have to pay the DVLA another £50. There lots of people who have fell for this including our selves. Shannon filled the form in thinking it was the official DVLA site. We have been intouch with our bank, and sent an email to the company, stating we wanted a refund, they have agreed to pay the money back by cheque, we then got back intouch with our bank and they said refund should be paid via the same way the initial payment was made.
email sent to company.
Hello,
Our daughter received a letter today from your company. She expected a driving licence from the DVLA and not merely a driving licence application form.
Your web site led her to believe that it was an official Government site and that she was paying directly for her provisional driving licence as your web site led her to believe, and therefore expected delivery of a licence and not merely an application form.
We consider this to be not only misleading but also a misrepresentation of the official application process.
We therefore would like you to return all monies obtained from us that you have gained from this illicit transaction.
As you can see from her date of birth she is only 17 and cannot therefore hold a credit card.
We have contacted our bank to seek to regain our money.

We hope the money will be repaid asap without us having to enter into any Legal Action.
A copy of this is being sent to the fraud department of our bank.
If you or anyone you know has been scammed by this company contact your bank right away!!!!!!!!! Please share we were lucky there are a lot of people who have lost to this fraudulent company.......

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Helyantha · 23/08/2013 11:03

I've just checked their site and they have put up a totally fictitious quote from my son saying how marvellous their service is! I've emailed them about refunding the money & am now contacting trading standards & the bank.
It is so disappointing that something DS was so excited about has been tarnished by scammers exploiting the young :(
Thank you so much for the advice reeter

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plazydays · 01/09/2013 07:39

My daughter did the same last night, used this company: https://drivinglicence.uk.com/index.php
As with most, she is quite computer savy. She went through it then asked me for my card details. I put them in and click paid. It was not until I recieved the email and I thought this does not like the GOV. website. I went back on and sure enough it is just a checking service. They do not man the phones at weekends so I haev immediatley contacted them by reply email. I contacted my bank to stop payment but they have told me until it appears on my statement, there is nothing I can do? What I have noticed though is that on the main page, it states 'click her to apply for your license now'. By clicking this it takes you through the process. My thought it that this states apply for your lisence which it is not actually doing. So hopefully this could be argued in a court of law as what you are actually doing on the site is completing the form and having someone check it. Two tottally different things. I just hope I am able to get my money back as I cannot afford to pay again.

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TidyDancer · 01/09/2013 08:10

In fairness plazydays, it is made quite obvious at the top of the front page that the website you refer to is a checking service and isn't affiliated with the dvla. I see your point about that 'apply now' bit, but it is made quite clear otherwise that it isn't the official site. These so-called services shouldn't exist, and I do understand the upset.

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Pacific · 04/09/2013 20:54

My 16 year old son has just fallen for this scam too. I immediately emailed the company but they have just ignored me.

What else can I do? Has anyone actually got their money back? I am going into the bank tomorrow to see if they can help.

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SarahPercyAndBill · 04/09/2013 21:12

How is it a scam? Big bold letters in home page state:

"Apply for, renew or change your driving licence online, safely and securely. Our online service provides a complete checking service and this service will fill out the form on your behalf and send it to you.

We are not affiliated with DVLA, the UK government or any official body. The checking service we provide can be obtained from a DVLA office directly at a reduced fee or you can apply without a checking service where there will be no checking fee payable."

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Pacific · 04/09/2013 21:28

It is deliberately set up to confuse and exploit young people. I saw straight away that it was not a .gov.uk site but my 16 year old was not aware of the difference.

Of course it is a scam. Is there some benign friendly and ethical business person behind this site? I think not.

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singinginthelifeboats · 04/09/2013 22:46

Yup, my eighteen (yes eighteen!) year old fell for this. And I would dispute that there are 'big bold letters' advising you that it's not the government site. To the naive (my son who thinks he knows all there is to know about computers is a prime example) it would be easy to mistake this especially once you get stuck into the process.

I will attempt to get a refund but I don't hold out any hope. He did this just before we went away on holiday and its now weeks ago. Its only because he has given me all the paperwork as I said I would see what I could do, that I have realised.

My DS feels very stoopid and I hope he learns a lesson. I have said that I will contribute something to the proper application (having given him the money for the first one!) but not all as he needs to remember this!

I will have to content myself with warning everyone I know.....

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Pacific · 05/09/2013 08:37

I'm bumping this to let more people know about it.

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RowanMumsnet · 05/09/2013 12:41

Hello there

We've moved this to Teenagers now; catmadcaz do let us know if you'd wanted it to disappear after 90 days.

Thanks
MNHQ

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specialsubject · 05/09/2013 15:32

might be time that this kind of thing was introduced into the life lessons that I believe are now offered in schools.

it also happens with the gappies - there are companies that charge to set them up with all sorts of things that it would take them 10 minutes to sort themselves.

topics to include:

  • never pick the first link on google
  • always read the small print and check to see what fees SHOULD be
  • never give out your personal details unless on an https site or in a real financial institution
  • never announce on facebook that you are off on holiday

    and so on.

    no-one is born knowing this.
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ohtowinthelottery · 05/09/2013 18:51

Can someone please tell me which is the correct address of the official DVLA website. DS is nearly 17 and will be applying for his provisional licence in the next few weeks. Don't want him to fall foul of this scam.
Or maybe it is safer to go and get a form from the Post Office - I assume you can still do that? Get good old fashioned paper forms and fill them in with a pen and post them - ahh the good old days!!

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Pacific · 05/09/2013 19:12

Hi, ohtowinthelottery, if yoy make sure it is a ".gov.uk" address it is the correct one.

I phoned citizens advice today. This scam is covered by distance selling regulations so a 7 day cancellation is allowed. They dictated a paragraph to include in a recorded delivery letter which I duly sent off today.

However, I got an email from the scammers accusing my son of making the fraudulent transaction!

I will let you all know how I get on.

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