COLD calls from bogus bailiffs demanding money for non-existent debts have surged across the UK – and now Gedling borough residents are being urged to stay alert.
Police scam-busters Action Fraud said there has been an increase in cold calls to the public from bogus bailiffs requesting payments for a “phantom” debt.
The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a bailiff working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt, the group said.
A spokesman said: “Fraudsters are requesting payment by bank transfer and if refused they threaten to visit the people’s homes or place work in order to recover the debt that is owed,” a spokesman said.
“From the reports we have received a range of different businesses and individuals are being targeted.
“Though this type of fraud can occur throughout the UK, we have found that significant levels of reports are being made from those in the Yorkshire area.”
Key facts about bailiffs from Action Fraud:
- A bailiff is someone who has a legal power to collect certain debts. They may do this by asking you to pay what you owe, or by taking and selling your belongings to raise the money.
- Bailiffs are only used to recover certain debts such as council tax, child support and compensation orders. Bailiffs are not used to recover debts relating to private advertisement; these would be collected by debt collectors.
- Debt collectors do not have the same legal powers as bailiffs and will not have special court authorisation to act. If you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with a bailiff or a debt collector, check the Citizens Advice website.