Being on the lookout and having the knowledge to be aware of what scams look like is crucial to avoid parting with your money.

This is particularly the case for motorists, as the DVLA tweeted a warning this week for drivers to be aware of scammers posing as the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency to use personal details to commit fraud.

The scam messages in question warn the recipient that a road tax payment has failed and they could be fined up to £1000 should they not update their bank details, but obviously if drivers put in their details it would have been likely that their bank account would have had money stolen from it.

To make drivers aware of the criminals capitalising on the pandemic, Select Car Leasing have crunched the numbers of four other recent online motoring scams, revealing that drivers are at risk of losing up to £5,000 if they fall for certain ones.

What scams should drivers be aware of?

‘Too Good to Be True’ Car Insurance Deals 

Fraudsters often take the form of fake car insurance providers. These scammers, known as ghost brokers, sell ‘too good to be true’ car insurance deals to drivers, unaware that they are buying a policy that is completely worthless.

According to the Association of British Insurers, the average cost of car insurance is £485.

Victims of ghost broking could not only be paying this premium, but also a £300 fine when they are penalised for driving an uninsured vehicle.

Facebook Car Adverts

Although Facebook Marketplace is a minefield for purchasing a used car, fraudsters are also using the platform to advertise vehicles at bargain prices to lure in potential buyers.

One unlucky victim from County Clare paid £5,179 (€6,000) for a car that was never delivered. 

Professional scammers posing as private sellers pressure motorists to send a deposit, plus extra for vehicle delivery. They then take the money and run – so buyers are left without a car and their money.

Scammers have also been known to use Facebook to sell stolen, written-off or finances cars, knowing that there is minimal legal protection once an owner has handed over their cash.

Glasgow Times: Selling your car online could potentially lead to problems (PA)Selling your car online could potentially lead to problems (PA)

Car Buying Scams Can Leave You Out of Pocket

Not only can buying a car be risky, so can selling it online. Some scammers will turn up for an in-person inspection of the vehicle being sold, and distract the seller while an accomplice adds engine oil to the water reservoir.

The car will of course break down if driven, with the criminals claiming the seller has tried to sell them a faulty car – they’ll use this as leverage for a significantly lower asking price.

The scammers will then empty the engine oil out of the reservoir and sell the car on to another completely unknowing buyer.

Fake Driving Licenses Could Cost Learner Drivers £600

Learner drivers have to suffer long waits to take their driving test, due to a sizable backlog after the pandemic. 

Predictably, fraudsters are capitalising on the wait and targeting young motorists who don’t want to wait to sit their test.

Scammers are selling fake licences and paper certificates online for £600 each, stating they have inside access to driving test centres and can pass learner drivers without having to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

However, young drivers are then left out of pocket when no licence cards are issued and fraudsters take the funds.