drivinglicence.uk.com Scam – the DVLA Con

A friend of mine emailed this week asking if I heard of the website drivinglicence.uk.com as they had just paid them for, what they believed to be, a driving licence for their daughter. They Googled DVLA, as you would, and found this website at the top of the search results – the sponsored search results.

drivinglicenceukcom-website

They filled in the form, paid their money and waited patiently for the driving licence – only to be sent a form which they then needed to forward onto the DVLA and pay AGAIN for the driving licence they thought they had already paid for. In effect they have to pay twice for the driving licence, all because they fell for this awful trick.

So how did this happen?

The sad truth is most people who don’t work online don’t know the difference between Google’s organic results and the paid results, which is where sites such as this manage to fool people. Where the DVLA website ranks #1 in Google for a search on DVLA (as it should) and it also ranks #1 for many associated search terms, it’s only sites like drivinglicence.uk.com which pay for sponsored listings and thus ‘appear’ to rank #1 to people who aren’t quite so Internet savvy.

drivinglicenceukcom

In good faith these people will click on the first result and pay their money for what they believe is an application for a driving licence, when what they’re really paying for is a ‘checking service’, one which isn’t needed in the first place. The website simply checks the data you’ve entered to make sure you’ve filled in the right boxes, and charges you for the privilege. So you’re paying for nothing.

So how is this even legal?

The website says on its homepage:

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.

It’s this statement which keeps this website on the side of the law, but a statement many people won’t read or even notice. They’ll simply see the site ranked at the top of Google, click ‘apply’ and pay their money, as all of these people have done, and these people.

As you can see from the comments on the site, many have telephoned to make complaints to drivinglicence.uk.com (as my friend did) but few receive a satisfactory answer, with some even being cut off from the call. The company knows it is conning people who believe they’re paying to renew their licence, and it doesn’t care.

There are many website such as this charging people for services which are otherwise free, such as the many PPI claims websites and companies charging people a percentage of their winnings for simply sending a letter – a letter you can send yourself for free. They’re parasites sucking money from people who are fooled by their tricks.

My advice is to avoid websites such as this and ensure, before you enter any payment details, you’re on the official site for whatever it is you’re trying to do and you carefully read what it is you’re going to get. Under the Distance Selling Regulations you can demand your money back from scammers such as these, but they don’t all play by the rules or the law, so you may find that’s a dead end.

Admiral Insurance and the paperless letters

I recently received my insurance renewal quote from Admiral for my multicar policy and, for some reason, the quote had more than doubled to over £2,000. This seemed odd as I hadn’t had an accident in the last year and I have an additional year’s no-claims on two cars.

Naturally I telephoned Admiral to find out what the issue was and the Canadian call centre woman I spoke had no idea and wasn’t really willing to help. She did however insist that I had a claim on my record, which related to an incident last year when a woman crashed into my PARKED car and drove off – but luckily a witness identified her and the CCTV backed it up, so she paid for the damage. I notified Admiral of the incident at the time, but didn’t make a claim. They confirmed this after I rang again to tell them the damage was repaired and the woman had paid for it (she settled herself because, according to Admiral when I phoned them, there was no active insurance policy on the woman’s car – seems she was uninsured).

Anyhow – damage was repaired, no claim made and no problems. Not so for Admiral as they insist I have a claim, even though there wasn’t one. I was put through to their Cardiff office to speak to a claims handler where it was confirmed that indeed there was no claim and it shouldn’t be showing. He tried to put me through to another renewal operative, this time in Cardiff, but unfortunately it went through to Canada again where another uninterested woman insisted once again I had a claim.

Left hand meet right hand.

I told them to stick their policy and I’d go somewhere else – especially as, as I explained to the disinterested woman, when I fill out the details on a comparison engine it will ask ‘have you made any claims in the past x number of years’ and my answer of course is no – so Admiral is most likely to come up again – cheaper than the renewal quote. That is in fact exactly what happened, and they were the cheapest, but I’m avoiding them on principle now.

This morning I received two, count them – one, two, letters through the post insisting I return my insurance certificate for my policy number. Both letters were identical with the same policy number, and both were sent in separate envelopes. The dumbest part is yet to come. Because my car insurance is all online I don’t have an insurance certificate, it’s a PDF download in order to be ‘green’ and save the environment – despite Admiral posting TWO identical letters.

Thanks Admiral, but I don’t have an insurance certificate, I didn’t make a claim and I won’t be renewing my policy with you since you have doubled by quote without reason.

Adios.

The rich keep getting richer

Over the last 24 hours or so this is a phrase I’ve heard a few times from people on the radio and on TV with regards to Maggie Thatcher’s time in power. They choose to complain that, under Thatcher’s premiership, the ‘rich kept getting richer’ as though this was solely down to Mrs T and her policies.

What utter crap.

The rich, as they were dubbed, kept and indeed keep getting richer because they don’t have a ‘spend, spend, spend’ attitude towards money. They don’t view money as something which has to be traded in for material goods in order to appear successful. They don’t waste their money on things they can’t afford. The rich get richer because they view money as an asset to be used to invest, and thus make more money – that’s why they’re rich in the first place.

Now yes, before you say it, there are some rich people who do ‘piss money up the wall’ like there’s no tomorrow, but they won’t stay rich for long and, as such, don’t fit into the bracket of the ‘rich who keep getting richer’.

My niece today awoke to find her shed had been broken into and her bike stolen – by the sort of people who, firstly, would have been rejoicing yesterday at the news Thatcher was dead despite not even being alive when she was in power and, secondly, the sort of people who complain about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. If they want some sort of utopian society where the rich get poorer and the poor get richer so everyone shares the wealth, that’s called Communism, and they won’t like that much either because they’d have to work.

No, stop whinging about the unfair world which allows the rich to get richer because they’ve got the wherewithal and intellect to earn money and grow their wealth and get off your benefit scrounging arses and do it yourselves – and stop breaking into sheds and stealing bikes while you’re at it.

Scumbags.

The rich get richer because they work at it. Try it, you may find it works for you to.

The Brew Cards – an office game to decide who makes the teas and coffees

We’ve been playing this game at Engage Web since we started the company, so we thought it about time we made the rules all official like (seeing as I keep getting told I’m making them up) and put them down in Infographic format. The game is simple – if you’re in an office and you want a tea or coffee, but don’t fancy making one for everyone, simply ting your mug – follow the game from there. You’ll be hooked.

Engage Web's The Brew Cards Game Infographic
Courtesy of Engage Web

Demystifying SEO

We’ve just added a new infographic to our Engage Web website on demystifying SEO. It aims to explain many of the aspects of SEO and what is involved in the process, using the concept of a car on the open the road. Without demystifying the windscreen you won’t see where you’re going, and this demystifies the SEO process.

Let me know what you think.

Engage Web's Demystifying SEO Infographic
Courtesy of Engage Web

Spellcaster Spam

I must be one of those unusual people who actually enjoys spam (not the tinned meat variety, the automated crap posted on the Internet sort). I love the persistence of it, and the fact it does actually work – there’s always someone, somewhere, stupid enough to fall for it. Some spam is, admittedly, much better than others. I expect many people who would never dream of sending their bank details to claim their winnings on the Nigerian lottery have, at some point in the last few months, clicked to ‘like’ or ‘share’ a photo of a US marine holding a baby – accompanied by the tagline ‘like if you respect’ or ‘share if you support our troops’.

Spam takes all forms and guises, and some spam is subtler than other forms.

One of the more popular types of web drivel doing the rounds at the moment is the ‘spellcaster’ emails and comments. These are tales of woe and despair from some fictional loser who, after visiting a spellcaster, found the love of their lives come back to them.

This drivel plays on the fact many people online are particularly lonely and desperate and are even willing to pay some charlatan to cast a love spell for them. Hey, even losers have money. The loser pound is as good as anyone’s.

Anyhow – the plot of these emails and comments is fairly straightforward – but the example I have pasted below is such a classic that whoever wrote this clearly forgot halfway through whether they were writing this from the perspective of a male or female.

I mean seriously, you have to proofread your drivel. How stupid must somebody be to fall for this one?

“I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS WORLD’S TOP SPELL CASTER. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO USA, MY GIRLFRIEND(NOW WIFE) CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO… WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS; doctorsunshinehope@yahoo.com HOPE HE HELPS YOU PPORTUNITY”

Stupid emails I have received: Someone thinks I am Carphone Warehouse

Over the years I have received some pretty stupid emails from some pretty stupid people. Last night I received one of the best yet, from someone who presumably Googled ‘Carphone Warehouse Complaints’ and found MrDaz.com – then decided to fill in my contact form believing she was contacting Carphone Warehouse. Like this site looks remotely like Carphone Warehouse.

When people are ready to fill their details into the first form they find on the Internet, is it any wonder ID theft and cyber crimes are so rife? Is it any wonder billions of pounds are lost each year in the UK by morons to Internet tricksters? It’s not like the fraudsters even need to be clever or devious about it, the idiots come to them – like shooting fish and all that. Anyway, here’s this idiots email – meant for Carphone Warehouse. Pass it on somebody.

Hi,

My Daughter has worked for car-phone warehouse for some years, she has left to go to college to become a midwife, and she needs her P45 from yourselves, she has phone HR, been into her store on many occasions and generally been given the run around as to where her P45 is this has been going on for nine weeks since she left.

she has just received a A4 piece of paper with a list of earning and such! which mean nothing to anyone this is not a legal P45 and you’s as a company have delayed my Daughter from getting her benefits that she is entitled to, for being such a big company we find it hard to believe that you could treat your former employees in such a way.

I trust that now the matter has been brought to your attention it will now be dealt with in a timely manner, which should have been the case nine weeks ago, we feel that because you’s have taken so long, as a company should pay some compensation to my Daughter for all the hassle and heart ache of trying to live on a mere £40.00 a week with a small child. the store in Washington the galleries Tyne and wear.

Michaela Golden

So much anger, so little time

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