A learner has been caught trying to use a Bluetooth device to cheat on his theory test, leading to concerns that such scams could be more widespread than previously thought.
Hoping to pass his theory test without putting in the hard work, chef Isa Yazgi, 23, tried to cheat on two separate occasions in 2016; the first time at a test centre in Kent, the second at one in Staffordshire. Using a Bluetooth earpiece connected wirelessly to a mobile phone, Yazgi successfully managed to slip the earpiece inside the test centre’s headphones on his first attempt but couldn’t get a signal; inevitably, he failed the test.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Yazgi tried the same technique again at the Staffordshire test centre but was caught by a member of staff after being spotted pulling something out from under his waistband before again slipping it inside the test centre’s headphones; a search revealed the earpiece and he was subsequently charged with fraud.
During the investigation, it transpired that the equipment was provided by a criminal gang as part of a theory test cheat service. If Yazgi had passed his theory test using the ‘service’, he would have been expected to pay £1,000 to the gang for the privilege. In court, the learner was subsequently given a 12-month community order plus 180 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £185 in court costs plus an £85 victim charge.
It’s alarming that people are driving around who don’t understand the rules and the road signs. We have to send a signal out that this is not acceptable.”
– Magistrate chair Christopher Dalton
Isa Yazgi’s case highlights a growing concern at the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) that such cheat technology is becoming more prevalent. In 2016, the agency investigated 467 cases of fraud using Bluetooth technology, representing a 52% rise from the 308 investigations conducted in 2015. Thankfully, 50 people have been successfully prosecuted and served prison time since 2016 for attempting to cheat on their theory test. Such prosecutions will hopefully deter those who are tempted to try and cheat the system in the future.
We need evidence and we are changing the CCTV in the test centres to enable us to do that. I have to say that people who invigilate those tests are very good at picking out people with Bluetooth earphones. It is just the odd behaviour like scratching your ankle constantly because your mobile phone is in there.”
– Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive, who is planning to implement new measures to crack down on cheating.
Follow the Rules, Don’t Break Them
The theory test can be stressful enough for most of us – so ensure you are properly prepared. Do expect staff to check you for devices that may aid in test cheating such as headphones, bags or watches. If you are carrying anything that is regarded as a potential cheat risk, you will be asked to place the item in a secure locker and pick it up once the test is complete. Bear in mind that if you refuse to let staff check you, you will be barred from the test.
For more information about what to expect during your theory test, check out our Beginner’s Guide here.