Why you should never share photos of your driving licence or car documents online

Why you should never share photos of your driving licence or car documents online
Why you should never share photos of your driving licence or car documents online

Drivers have been urged not to share images of their personal or vehicle paperwork by the government agency responsible for licencing.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has this week issued a fresh warning to drivers amid concerns that they could be exposing themselves to fraud.

Identity theft

Whether you’re proudly showing off your newly acquired licence or including photos of the car’s V5C log book in an online advert, publishing images of important documents can give away private information that criminals can exploit.

In a warning to motorists, the DVLA cautioned that a snap of a licence or log book is an easy target for fraudsters looking to steal your or your car’s identity.

Your driver’s licence contains many of the key details used by criminals to steal people’s identities, including your full name, date of birth and address.

Likewise, a car’s V5C includes your name and address as well as the car’s registration mark, VIN number and a document reference number that is vital for actions such as having new number plates made up.

Stolen car details can be used by car cloners to put a legitimate car’s details onto a stolen or otherwise illegal car. This could leave you at risk of being hit with parking and speeding fines as well as more serious charges if a vehicle using your car’s identity is used in a crime.

Licences and log books contain a goldmine of data for identity thieves. (Picture: Shutterstock)
Licences and log books contain a goldmine of data for identity thieves. (Picture: Shutterstock)

Tax refund fraud

The latest warning comes after the drivers were urged to beware of messages claiming to be from the DVLA and telling drivers that their car tax payment had failed or that they were due a car tax refund.

In both instances the fake emails and texts were designed to persuade drivers to submit their bank details on fraudulent sites posing as legitimate government services.

In the wake of those messages the DVLA issued a guide to staying safe online and avoiding falling victim to such frauds.

A DLVA spokesperson said: “We’re aware that some members of the public are receiving emails, texts and telephone calls claiming to be from DVLA. Links to a website mocked up to look like a DVLA online service are sometimes included in the message.

“We don’t send emails or text messages with links to websites asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information. We strongly advise anyone who receives such a request not to open the link and delete the item.”

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