Beware the Bailiff Scammers

 

In the last three weeks Enforcement Bailiffs has been contacted by twelve businesses from different parts of the country that have been or have been about to be scammed by people purporting to be bailiffs.

The Plot

The targeted business gets a call from a man. He gives his name and says he is a court bailiff working on behalf of Northampton County Court. He goes on to say:

”We have a warrant, number xxxxxx, and I have been asked to call as there is a bailiff 20 minutes away from you. The debt relates to xyz company who have obtained a county court judgment against you for £x - usually a few thousand pounds.”

“I am telephoning to see if we can resolve this matter now before the bailiff arrives on site, as there will be an extra £2,000 in fees charged at that point.”

“If the bailiff does not get paid in full immediately he will look at removing goods to cover the debt.”

The company at this point usually protest and say they have not had any notification, etc. The man, purporting to be a bailiff, will say he can’t do anything about that now as the other bailiff is on route.

What he usually then says is that if you can do a bank transfer into our protected client account then that will stop the bailiff attending today. Your money is then held safely in the bailiffs client account whilst you complete the paperwork to get this warrant set aside.

The Scam

These people do not work for Northampton County Court. Or any other court name they use.

The procedure is somewhat different to how they describe it.

Let’s suppose you did have a judgment against you that you were unaware of. Who would enforce this, and how can you tell if they are genuine?

County Court Judgments can only be enforced by either the County Court Bailiffs, or a Certificated Enforcement Agent working on behalf of a High Court Enforcement Officer.

County Court Bailiffs

They are salaried civil servants who work for the county court.

They do not ring companies. They turn up after first sending you out a notice or letter informing you of their intention to enforce.

When they do turn up they will have all the correct documentation, including the case reference number, so you can check that the case is genuine.

To check a case visit a site such as www.trustonline.org.uk. This will show if the case is genuine.

County court bailiffs generally do not charge fees for turning up. Their fee is paid for in advance by the creditor.

Certificated Enforcement Agent working on behalf of a High Court Enforcement Officer

Certificated Enforcement Agents never ring up first. They send out an official notice called a notice of enforcement, usually by first class post. At this point they are allowed to charge £90.

They can only charge further fees by attending, so it is in their interest to attend, or they do not make much money.

Their office will have details of the case number so you can check it is genuine.

They are obliged to tell you the name of the High Court Enforcement Officer so you can check they are genuine.

This can be done by accessing www.hceoa.org.uk/members/authorised-members-directory.html.

The Lies

These people are very convincing. They usually:

The names are quite often the names of genuine Certificated Enforcement Agents. Please be aware that only Certificated Enforcement Agents are listed on this web site. The County Court Bailiffs are salaried Civil servants who are exempt from holding a certificate so they would not appear on the register.

  • give you a warrant number and claim not to have a case number.

No one uses the warrant number generally. There is no way of checking this number other than on the courts own system. They obviously do this to frustrate your efforts to see if they are genuine.

Protect Yourself

Never pay money on a card or by bank transfer without first getting paperwork.

Why are they ringing you when the bailiff is only 20 minutes away? The attendance is how they make their money.

If they turn up, which I doubt, then check their identification, and call the Police to verify it if necessary.

Enforcement Bailiffs

Andy Coates is the CEO of Enforcement Bailiffs Ltd, who also trade as Inhouse Enforcement solutions (IES ).

IES provides training courses on various aspects of Enforcement, Land and property recovery, Debt recovery and Investigations. Our trainers have over 25 years experience in the Enforcement and Investigation industry.

We offer a half day workshop that we can deliver for your staff regarding the debt recovery and enforcement process. This would help you understand how better to recover your money and how the enforcement process works.

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