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Did scammers know about my DVLA renewal?

We’ve covered DVLA scams before, but this one caught my eye due to how closely-tied it was to my real vehicle tax renewal. How did the scammers know?

While the last scam DVLA email we looked at told drivers that they were ‘not up-to-date’ with their vehicle tax, this one takes things one step further.

When I received my vehicle tax renewal in the post a while back I, like most people these days, opted to pay it online.

Everything went through as normal, but just two days later, an email appeared in my inbox that made me look twice.

Even though my account flagged the message as spam, the professionally worded subject title, along with the presence of the ‘customer number’ made me open things up for a closer look.

Fortunately the email address it came from acted as a dead giveaway, but the email arriving so close to my legitimate renewal does beg the question; had my data been leaked somewhere? How did the scammers know?

DVLA and Which? advice

I let our consumer rights expert, Amelia Wade, know about the email – she got in touch with the DVLA to ask them about the scam.

The DVLA assured us its sytems are secure, built to government standards and checked regularly for any vulnerabilities.

It is, however, good practice to regularly clear your browsing data, keep your browser up-to-date, ensure you’ve got a good antivirus software and have good password hygiene.

Scammers are becoming increasingly conniving, so trust your spam filters and take pause to think if you’re being asked to input payment details after following a URL.

It can’t be ruled out that this case in particular could have been a coincidence – it’s not uncommon for scammers to chance their arm with multiple emails at different times.

With clever DVLA scams targeting drivers regularly, we’ve written a new guide on how to spot them, so you can stay ahead of the fraudsters.

Read our new guide to DVLA scams

We’ve included examples of the scam texts and emails themselves, as well as advice on what to do if you think you’ve followed a scam link.

Have you received a DVLA scam email just days after your real vehicle tax renewal was due? Let us know if they were clever enough for you to open them up, and if your spam filters were on the ball.
Initial appeals lodged with TFL within the 28 days cross referencing each and the appeal mirrored. My thanks to Mr Mustard for guidance thus far, lets see how it goes...
 :idea: Well, the answer is to do away with the ANPR system altogether and install barriers where you get a ticket on entry and pay at a machine which marks your ticket as paid. Then insert your ticket at the exit barrier. Simple. It works fine here in Sutton.
During the year 2017 - 2018 the private parking "industry" issued 5.56 million invoices. Well over 50% of these were on the "evidence" of ANPR cameras. Let us assume 60% were ANPR invoices. Even if the cameras are 99% accurate (and remember this figure is from the notoriously unreliable BPA Limited) this still means that no fewer than 33,900 motorists have been unlawfully issued with parking charge invoices. The majority of these will be for around £100 which means that the "industry" has raked in some £3.39 million pounds unlawfully.

The British Parking Association for car park operators told The Sunday Telegraph that ANPR was “99 per cent accurate”.

A spokesman said: “Problems can arise when they drive very close together if there is a queue or the weather is poor. There can be instances where old plates are not read properly.”

See full article below for context


Free car parking loophole is being exploited by classic car owners - Here’s how it works

CLASSIC car owners in Britain are exploiting a parking loophole in Britain which allows them to avoid paying any parking charges.

Classic car owners in the UK are getting free parking due to the exploitation of a loophole. Certain car parks across Britain use high-technology cameras to enforce fines and punishments. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) software is used to scan the car registration plate when it enters and exits the car park, noting down the time and details of the plate. Some car parks do not even have barriers in place to prevent drivers from entering and exiting the car park.

Classic car owners are managing to get away without paying these fees due to the usual non-standard number plates allowed on vehicles made before 1975.

Rules introduced in 2015 allows the use of the silver and black number plates on ‘historic vehicles’.

This move has caused some confusion with the technology which is failing to pick up the licence details as it does not follow the standard plate format.

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs told The Sunday Telegraph that as many as 20 of its members had been exploiting the loophole.

The silver and black number plates aren't being recognised by ANPR cameras (Image: GETTY)

“In the cases of supermarkets you wouldn’t be challenged at all because the system simply wouldn’t recognise you had ever been there,” a spokesman said.

Editor of the Classic Car David Sinister detailed how has been enjoying the free parkignbeneftis of owning a classic car.

The vintage MGB GT driver told The Sunday Telegraph: “The car park I used wasn’t barrier-operated, so when you drove in it had a little LCD matrix screen which will tell you your registration number and how long you were allowed to park there – but it would never recognise it.

“I could park there at 8am, go shopping all day, leave it there for a week and nobody would be any the wiser.

“For me personally, it’s not been a bad thing, but I appreciate it does have more serious implications.”

Despite the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) admitted that the plate could be misread, they are really involved in any criminality as they are often very easily identifiable.

The British Parking Association for car park operators told The Sunday Telegraph that ANPR was “99 per cent accurate”.

A spokesman said: “Problems can arise when they drive very close together if there is a queue or the weather is poor. There can be instances where old plates are not read properly.”
Public forum for new members to introduce themselves / Harrow - Traffic Trap
« Last post by pinnerite on 08 April, 2019, 05:31:46 PM »
On Sunday 24 March 2019 I was helping with my grandchildren at the Harrow Leisure Centre. I was/am unfamiliar with it since the access was revamped years ago.

When I went to leave I found myself trapped and had to leave via what turned out to be Byron Road.

Apparently I had ended up in a bus lane but could not tell because I was already over the signs painted on the road.

The video clip  supplied by the Council clearly shows the empty road and sadly me, trying to escape!

I am convinced that this is an intended trap to raise money. It could be better signed.

Many others have been caught the same way it appears. some o this website. A Harrow sub-forum might help concentrate them in future.

Just a thought.
The IPC Code of Practice states:

4.1 You may use sub-contractors in order to carry out duties on your behalf. Subcontractors are your responsibility and any issue of non-compliance by them will be treated as non-compliance by you.

4.2 Self –ticketing practices are considered the same as sub-contractors, so if you enforce parking charges issued by a self-ticketing site – you are responsible for ensuring they keep to the Code in its entirety.


Cardiff 'self-ticketing' parking attendant investigated

An investigation has been launched after a parking attendant was caught putting up a temporary "no parking" sign before issuing a ticket.

He then took the sign away and the car's owner was sent a Parking Charge Notice for £100, the BBC has found.

UK Car Park Management Ltd issued the notice as part of its "self-ticketing" scheme which pays landowners £10 for reporting parking infringements.

The firm said it believed the incident in Cardiff was isolated.

A lawyer who is an expert in parking law told BBC X-Ray the man was acting "fraudulently".

"In my opinion he is engineering that situation, he's receiving monies off the back of deceiving the parking management company which, in essence that's fraud, it's a fraudulent act," said Cardiff-based Sarah Garner of DAS Law.

"It's completely wrong and it should not happen," said Will Hurley, chief executive of the parking regulator the International Parking Community (IPC).

The ticket was issued by former Welsh boxing champion turned parking entrepreneur Peter Ahmed - who runs a car park near Curran Embankment in Butetown, where the notice was issued.

Kelly Venables, who was given the ticket, said she "can't believe that somebody can be quite so dishonest"

The Parking Charge Notice (PCN) was given to Kelly Venables from Wenvoe near Cardiff while she was Christmas shopping with her family.

She had parked in the lane before because there were was nothing to indicate it was forbidden.

Two weeks later she got the PCN in the post, complete with a photograph of her car "with a big sign behind it".

"I knew that sign wasn't there, there was no way you could miss that sign," she said.

"And there was absolutely no way I was paying it, there was no way I was just going to let it lie."

CCTV footage showed Peter Ahmed taking a photo of Kelly Venables' car

When she found footage on a nearby CCTV camera, she saw that Mr Ahmed had put up the sign just so he could take a picture of her car and issue the penalty notice.

"I can't believe that somebody can be quite so dishonest. I can't believe that practices like that are allowed by supposedly regulated car parking firms," she added.

UK Car Park Management Ltd (UKCPM) operates a "self-ticketing" scheme, which allows a landowner or agent who signs a code of conduct to use an app on their phone to send details of illegally parked cars.

The firm obtains the owners' details from the DVLA and issues a parking charge to the driver, and the agent gets £10 for every ticket they issue.

Sarah Garner, a lawyer who is an expert in parking law, told BBC X-Ray the man was acting "fraudulently"

Peter Ahmed had signed up to this scheme - but has had his account suspended after X-Ray uncovered the way he had issued the PCN.

Mr Ahmed told the programme he did not have enough signs so had used a "mobile sign" until new supplies arrived.

He said he thought he was within his rights to do so because there were other signs in the area. Mr Ahmed said he now realised this was not acceptable and apologised.

UKCPM said it had launched its own investigation and had cancelled the PCN as soon as they became aware of what had happened.

Mr Hurley added: "We will now look into it and what went wrong and when we get to the bottom of that we will be able to look and see what needs to happen moving forward.

"But the fact that this happened in the first place indicates that something needs to be done to ensure this does not happen again."

The DVLA said it had taken "immediate action" alongside the IPC to investigate the incident.

UKCPM said it believed this was an isolated occurrence.

"There's a good indication that it is a one-off incident and it's isolated. However, we will look at it with an open mind," Mr Hurley said.

X-Ray is on BBC One Wales at 19:30 on Monday and on iPlayer afterwards.

You can only try mate but I wouldn't hold my breath on TfL giving up a single penny of their ill gotten gains.
2nd one received  <Swearyangry> again going south the following day so just one more possible from the second day heading home! I thought I'd gone through four times but the first day I came back over London bridge having already been in the CC area that day it was quicker.

What scope is there to challenge these on the basis of the Chelmsford bus gate?

Is there any scope for TFL combining them to a single fine?
My point being how is a goods vehicle designed to carry loads safely at 3.2 tonnes less safe than a car with a gross weight of 3.5 tonnes?

Where does the 2.0 tonnes figure come from? It is punitively restrictive and I cannot think of any other location in the UK where this figure is used. surely 3.5 tonnes applied to any class of vehicle is restrictive enough, especially given the other restrictions apply to all classes.

Curiously the LEVC TX London Taxi is banned on width! It also weighs in at 2.2 tonnes at the kerb....
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