The Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA) is warning small businesses in particular about the perils of bogus bailiffs. A number of cases have been identified where bogus enforcement agents have demanded payments for fake debts.
CIVEA, the civil enforcement industry trade body, warns that smaller companies are at specific risk from these fraudsters. They use the public register of enforcement agents to put pressure on businesses to pay for bogus debts.
The fake enforcement agents (bailiffs) use threatening behaviour, saying they will visit the premises with a locksmith if payment isn’t made. They often target vulnerable individuals who are pressured into paying for these so-called debts quickly to avoid a bailiff turning up.
Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Civil Enforcement Association, said: “We want to protect people from bogus bailiffs who are using legitimate certificated agents’ details. These fraudsters appear very convincing, but do not be hurried and always check before making any payments.”
Don’t become a victim of bogus bailiffs
To help businesses and individuals, CIVEA has provided guidance on how to avoid being a victim of bogus bailiffs.
Never pay over the telephone unless you agree you owe a debt and are satisfied you are speaking with a certificated enforcement agent or agency.
If in doubt, ask for a Head Office number for the company they work for and details of the debt that is owed.
Ask the enforcement agent for a case reference number and check with the court, if necessary.
An enforcement agent will not visit without giving at least 7 days’ notice, and you will probably receive further letters, emails and text messages.
All enforcement agents are approved by the court and will be happy to show you their certificate.
Always request photographic ID before making any payment.
Visiting enforcement agents will have electronic documents with details of the debt and relevant court orders.
If you believe you have received a call from a bogus enforcement agent report it to Action Fraud and receive a police crime reference number, by calling 0300 123 2040.
The Bailiff Company
When dealing with The Bailiff Company you can be assured that all our certificated enforcement agents are genuine. Where they are visiting a property, they will have the appropriate documentation with them and will be happy to show you their ID.