The HM Courts and Tribunal service has warned that scammers posing as County Court bailiffs are sending emails trying to force companies and householders to make immediate payments.
These scammers claim that the person owes money, often using the name ‘John Hutchinson’ as well as others. They follow up the email with a telephone call appearing to come from an official phone line. They demand immediate payment to avoid having goods seized. These emails are not genuine.
A typical document attached to an email looks like this:
This document and its contents are not genuine.
If you’re unsure whether communication from a bailiff is genuine, you can check.
A County Court bailiff:
- will only pursue a debt where a County Court Judgment has been registered (you can go onto your credit report to check whether it is genuine)
- will not telephone or send emails asking for money or make multiple calls in a short space of time
- will not ask you to transfer money into a bank account
- will not tell you to pay and say you can claim it back at a later date
- will not provide you with prefilled court forms to send in to defend a claim.
The bailiff will hand deliver any documents and will not take money there and then.
If you want to make a payment, they will give you the County Court number to call and you can pay by debit card. You can check the number:
If you do not think you owe anything, the bailiff will tell you to call the County Court. When calling the court, use Find a Court or Tribunal to find the correct court number.
If you’re suspicious about a call or text contact the court service.
If you’ve paid money: