WhatsApp scammers provide “legit” driving licences for just £600 – without you needing to take a test (and no, they’re not really legit)
Struggling to pass your driving test? Doesn’t matter anymore. Turns out you can get a full licence anyway – signed, sealed and delivered for a mere £600.
No need to even show up for the test. You’ll be on the DVLA’s database and everything.
But that’s the line that a new group of social media scammers is putting out there, and people are going for it hook, line and sinker.
A recent BBC investigation revealed the depths of the scam, even exposing some WhatsApp conversations between the scammers and their “victims”.
Though whether you’d really call someone who’s willing to shell out £600 instead of taking the test and getting a valid licence fair and square is up to you.
How the crooks are pulling it off
The scammers claim to have private access to test centres and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). “We work for DVLA”, says one of them on WhatsApp.
The charlatans boast being able to book and pass a valid driving test without the applicant being present and have the whole process done and dusted within a week.
Participants receive a plastic licence card and test certificate sent to their home address, plus a screenshot of the updated driving licence status on the DVLA’s “view your licence” webpage.
The status in the screenshots reads “You have a full driving licence”, apparently hoodwinking the customer into thinking that they are now registered on the DVLA database.
Customers are easily pleased
Of course, if you know what you’re doing, all three are easy enough to fake. Though whether the participants realise that what they’re receiving is counterfeit is unclear. Indeed, one applicant responds to one of the scammer’s WhatsApp messages, “So this is legit!”
Err, no pal, it’s not.
According to another screenshot, one user of the scam scheme was so pleased with their theory certificate that they were considering “doing” the practical part of the test illegally too.
“Thank you so much I have just received me [sic] theory certificate! I am taking my test next month if I don’t pass I will getting my practical license [sic] off you.” they said.
It’s almost funny, until you remember that these people pop the licences into their pockets and head out onto the roads. You know, where pedestrians and other drivers are.
Is there enough of a deterrent?
In response to the BBC’s claims, the DVLA said, “The driving test is there to make sure all drivers have the skills and knowledge to use the roads safely and responsibly’ trying to circumvent it is illegal and a serious danger to road users.”
But whether the penalties for driving without a valid licence form enough of a deterrent is up for debate.
They can include a fine up to £1,000, up to six points on your licence and, possibly, disqualification.
What do you think? Should the fines for this sort of behaviour be higher? Drop a comment below and tell us what you think!