Local businesses have been warned of a fake bailiff scam. Police have been warning businesses that conmen are contacting companies requesting payment for non-existent debt.
The conmen are targeting small to medium sized businesses primarily, often after finding their contact details in online business directories. They then phone them and try to extract cash from them by claiming that they are behind with certain fees.
A range of businesses have so far been targeted, including nurseries, manufacturers, taxi services and hotels, however all business types are at risk from the scam.
Police have found that the fake bailiffs seem to be targeting those businesses with slightly more mature and elderly directors, who are traditionally seen as the victims of such scams.
Businesses are finding themselves at the mercy of cold calls from these fake bailiffs. They are purporting to be bailiffs working on behalf of the court, attempting to recover debts which don’t exist.
The targeted companies are then requested to make payment by means of a bank transfer, and, if the contact that the conmen are dealing with refuses, the fake bailiffs threaten to visit the premises in order to recover the debt that they claim is owed to them.
Dealing with the Conmen
The advice from the police, Trading Standards and the accounts managers at the business directories for dealing with the conmen is to ask for details of the debt collection agency, and if you are at all suspicious, hang up the phone. Do not under any circumstances agree to transfer money or give your bank details.
Once you have hung up the phone, report them to Trading Standards who can investigate.