An investigation by ITV News London has uncovered a brazen scam to trick London’s ULEZ cameras and avoid paying the £12.50 charge.
The fraudster, who falsely claimed to work for Transport for London, said he could ensure polluting vehicles followed the rules to be compliant.
Using WhatsApp, the man who referred to himself as ‘Christopher T’ and said he altered ULEZ records for pre-Euro 6 cars which typically have high levels of harmful emissions.
The scammer charged £700 and all he asked for is payment and the vehicle log book.
ITV News tested if the fraudulent scheme worked and obtained car registration details apparently provided to the seller by people he claimed were customers.
We cross-referenced the details with the records on government data bases which confirmed the information matched.
Both cars are BMWs and both run on pre-2015 diesel engines which means neither are ULEZ compliant.
But when you run the number plates through TfL’s ULEZ checker it says they are.
“It certainly should not be coming up as ULEZ compliant, (the website says) this vehicle meets the ULEZ emissions standards — there’s something very wrong there,” said motoring expert Steve Fowler.
A spokesperson for Transport for London said: “We are proactive in identifying criminals attempting to commit fraud against TfL and are aware of a small number of criminals attempting to produce fraudulent counterfeit vehicle documents to support fraudulent ULEZ exemption applications.
“We are working with the police to make sure the criminals face the consequences of their actions and are working closely with vehicle manufacturers to prevent fraudulent applications being successful.
“Drivers should not use the services advertised by these fraudsters as they will also be committing a criminal offence as well as wasting their money as their exemption will not stand.
“We have already removed many exemptions where we have identified or suspected them to be fraudulent.”
The man behind the scheme hides behind a series of social media accounts and always stays anonymous.
ITV News London revealed details of the investigation to the fraudster and asked him to respond to our findings.
‘Christopher T’ called back and hung up and appeared to have no interest in responding to serious allegations of fraud that we found him to be committing.
He then blocked us on WhatsApp and deleted his messages.
There are similar accounts still out there but those unwilling to pay the ULEZ charge could find themselves being drawn into this illegal activity as a way of saving money.