Fraudsters are selling fake ULEZ certificates in UK

Fraudsters are cashing in on the expansion of the controversial ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) in London, UK, by selling counterfeit exemption certificates online.

An investigation by Sky News found that the fake certificates were being sold mainly on social media, with the scammers posting adverts on Facebook Marketplace, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp claiming to be able to make vehicles ULEZ exempt in as little as 24 hours using nothing more than the vehicle's logbook and for fees ranging from £149 to £1,000 depending on the vehicle.

Formerly confined to central London, the scheme has just recently been expanded to the entire Greater London area, meaning motorists will now have to pay £12.50 a day to drive their vehicle in the zone if it does not meet emission standards.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the initiative is necessary to clean up the city's air and improve the health of those who live there, claiming 90% of cars driving in outer London already meet the standards, and for those that don’t owners can access a scrappage scheme to replace their vehicle.

People living outside the area however are not eligible for scrappage, so have to pay the daily rate if entering Greater London.

Transport for London (TfL) told Sky News it is aware of criminals attempting to submit applications and has already removed many certificates that it suspects of being fraudulent.

The news agency said it had received the license plate numbers of two vehicles that went from being non-compliant to compliant overnight on the TfL vehicle checker website.

The ULEZ is attracting other scammers as well, including some who have set up fake websites that dupe unsuspecting users into thinking they have paid the official charge, when in fact they have not and have lined the fraudsters pockets.

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