The AA has noticed an increase in fake New Zealand driver licensing pages circulating on social media creating hazards for unsuspecting victims.
AA General Manager Commercial and Product Roger Venn says often these pages may try to trick people into paying large sums of money for what they claim is a ‘valid’ New Zealand driver’s licence or take a person’s details from a fake online application process.
“We’ve noticed these fraudulent pages seem to target people who are unfamiliar with New Zealand’s driver licensing process and use stolen names and imagery from the AA or Waka Kotahi to imply legitimacy,” he says.
The AA wants to remind people who are seeking or renewing their driver’s licence to only go through official channels. Getting a licence is not an online process nor is it done through social media.
“You can apply for a licence or book a test on the Waka Kotahi NZTA website, but you still need to visit a licensing agent such as an AA Centre for the identity verification, photo, signature and eye test. These activities can only be done in-person,” says Roger.
“As you do behind the wheel at an intersection – stop, check your surroundings and only proceed with the licence application if it’s safe. Do not engage with these scammers.”
In New Zealand, driving without a licence or with a fraudulent licence is illegal. It may void the driver’s insurance should an accident occur, plus it puts others at risk for not having met the minimum standard to drive a vehicle.
Roger says, “If you’re pulled over, any police officer can easily check your licence details, and if you’re not in the system it can lead to significant consequences.”
Some particular things to keep an eye out for are any suspicious pages claiming affiliation with the AA, AA Driving School or Waka Kotahi NZTA, use of stolen or copied branding images or pages offering licensing services through social media, text message or generic email accounts (e.g. Gmail accounts with ‘licence’, ‘AA’ or ‘NZTA’ in the address).
“Also watch out for anyone offering to sell you a licence application form – these forms are free at driver licensing agents or online,” adds Roger.