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Fraudsters posing as County Court bailiffs are sending emails to people demanding money in latest scam, warns HM Courts and Tribunals Service

Scammers are posing as court bailiffs in an attempt to get households and businesses to hand over money.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has issued a warning to people to be on the lookout for criminals pretending to be connected with official court work.

The scammers claim, initially in emails, that the person they're contacting owes money as a result of court proceedings and that they need to arrange immediate payment in order to avoid further legal action.

An example of how a fraudulent email may look
An example of how a fraudulent email may look

The cunning fraudsters then follow up the email with a telephone call that will appear to come from an official phone line, during which they will demand an immediate transfer of money to a bank account if the person they're contacting wishes to avoid having any goods or vehicles seized.

The emails being sent are not genuine, say officials, who are urging people to check before responding or handing money over to anything, which on the face of it appears to be official communication from the courts service.

Anyone who is unsure whether the emails and calls asking for payments is real needs to remember that county court bailiffs will only pursue a debt where a County Court Judgement has been registered and you can use your credit file to check whether this exists.

Neither will they telephone or send emails asking for money, or make multiple calls in a short space of time, will not request that money is transferred into a bank account or say that you can pay and potentially claim it back at a later date say officials.

Legitimate bailiffs working on behalf of the courts service will usually hand deliver documents, says HM Courts and Tribunals Service, and won't ask to take money on the spot. Instead they will pass over a County Court telephone number to call where those needing to make a payment can do so by credit or debit card.

Anyone who is suspicious of a telephone number is reminded that they can check it directly using the Find a Court or Tribunal service, which would also be able to help anyone unsure if they owe money. Get more help and advice here.

Anyone who suspects they have fallen victim to the scam, and has handed over payments, should contact Action Fraud here for help and support.

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