In an emergency always call 999

Warning issued about bogus bailiffs

Posted on 8th November 2017

We’re sharing a warning from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau about bogus bailiffs.

Action Fraud has said that it has recently received an increase in calls about fake bailiffs, requesting payments for a ‘phantom’ debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone claiming to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for non-existent debt.

The caller will ask for payment by means of a bank transfer and if this is refused, will threaten to visit the premises to recover the debt that is owed.

The NFIB say that several different businesses and individuals have been targeted. Although the fraud can occur throughout the UK, Action Fraud has seen a large number of reports coming from Yorkshire.

We’re sharing the following advice:

  • If you receive a call, confirm what the debt is regarding; bailiffs are only used to recover certain debts such as council tax, child support and compensation orders. Bailiffs are not used to recover debts relating to private advertisement – these would be collected by debt collectors, who do not have the same legal powers as bailiffs.
  • If you work for a business and receive a call from a bailiff or debt collector, speak to your manager or business owner first. Never pay the debt yourself on behalf of the business. Some fraudsters have suggested employees do this, claiming they can be reimbursed by their employers.
  • Double check with the court or originating company to confirm whether the call is legitimate; if you use a landline, make sure you hear the dialling tone before dialling as the caller could still be on the line. Also be sure to search independently for the telephone number to call and clarify; never use a number provided by the caller without doing your own research.
  • Request details of the debt in writing to confirm its legitimacy
  • Don’t feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.