Reports of bogus bailiffs demanding phantom debts are on the increase, according to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre.
The con involves being cold-called by someone claiming to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover non-existent funds.
The fraudsters request payment by bank transfer and if refused they threaten to visit homes or workplaces in person in order to recover the debt that owed.
Though this type of fraud can occur throughout the UK, it has been found that significant levels of reports are coming from the Yorkshire area.
Bailiffs are only used to recover certain debts such as council tax, child support and compensation orders.
They are not used to recover debts relating to private advertisement - these would be collected by debt collectors.
People should make vigorous checks if the are cold-called by supposed bailiff, they should speak with your manager or business owner first.
Never pay the debts yourself on behalf of the business you work for - some fraudsters have suggested employees do this whilst talking with them, suggesting they can then be reimbursed by their employer, when in reality the debt is non-existent.
Also, request details of the debt in writing to confirm its legitimacy and do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call.