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‘Can’t Pay They’ll Take it Away!’ - But What Happens if the ‘Bailiff’ is a fraudster?

27 November 2018 Written by Stephen Cowan Category: Blog

In a recent case a Russian oligarch feared for his life and was, apparently, the victim of a burglary conjured up by his ex-wife. And to make matters worse the ex-wife was accused of threatening to get him deported from the UK.

In addition, as a means of recovering assets from her ex she employed a fake bailiff to pose as a debt collector to steal valuables form his Chelsea residence. Apparently the ‘bailiff’ showed some sort of ID including a fake badge which bore the Royal Courts of Justice crest and demanded money from him. When he refused to part with his cash the ‘bailiff’ removed two computers, an audio recorder, a printer and a watch. The ‘debtor’ became suspicious when the ‘bailiff’ reused to give him a receipt for the goods at which juncture the police were called. It was at this point that the ‘bailiff threatened him with deportation for not co-operating.

Whilst this was a high profile case ‘Action Fraud’ have reported a number of instances where people have been tricked by fraudsters into paying fake debts by unscrupulous people claiming to be bailiffs. Apparently victims receive a phone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgment in respect of a non – existent Debt. The favourite scam relates to fictitious magazine advertisement subscriptions with fraudsters using a variety of magazine names and publishers. However the names used are not those of a magazine or publisher but are, if fact, the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies.

The fraudster then requests that the debt is paid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses then the ‘bailiff’ attends their house or work place to recover the ‘debt’.

Common sense will be the best defence against being a victim of this type of scam. Just because the person phoning knows your name and address does not mean that they are genuine. Also if they say that they represent a particular creditor ask the caller for their identity and phone number of the alleged company. Look it up yourself on the internet and phone them. A quick enquiry will expose the scam. Also follow the classic advice and never give your bank details over the phone.

For further infomation please contact Stephen Cowan on 0141 572 4251.

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