Fake ‘notice of enforcement’ emails: spotting the signs of this County Court Judgement scam

HM Government is warning the public to be on the alert for scammers posing as  County Court bailiffs issuing fake Notices of Enforcement. 

The scammers claim that they are serving the victim with a County Court Judgement and that they should pay the money owed straight away to avoid their possessions being seized.

The scam usually starts by issuing the fake Notice of Enforcement via email and soon follow up with a phone call (if they have the victim’s phone number) from a number that appears to be official. 

What to look out for

The scam emails purports to be from HM Courts & Tribunals Service, and claims that a bailiff has been instructed to ‘recover the outstanding amount or seize goods.’

The victim is instructed to pay the outstanding amount, which will allegedly go to a court-appointed legal advisor, plus pay bailiff charges. 

The emails urge the victim to pay by adding that the payment will cease any further legal action and costs.

HM Government reports that many of these fake emails are sent by a Jack Hutchinson from the County Court & Family Hearing Centre, but it’s possible other names are also being used.

A crucial way of knowing this is fake is bailiffs HAND DELIVER these types of documents and will always quote a County Court number if you need to make a payment. You can verify any County Court details and contact numbers here.

Furthermore, genuine bailiffs will never take money when delivering documents and if you think you don’t owe anything, they will always advise you to call the County Court.

What to do if you think you’ve received a fake email or phone call:

  • If you receive any suspicious emails, calls or texts concerning the above – especially if they’re not expected– contact the HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
  • Never click on any links ­or phone any number in the email. Always check out the details in a separate online search.
  • If you receive any unexpected or suspicious calls, politely hang up, find the genuine number for HM Courts & Tribunals Service and call them back after 10 minutes.
  • Fraudsters will often keep the telephone line open and imitate genuine companies, so making sure the line is properly disconnected before making clarification calls.
  • It’s also worth advising you can check your credit report to find out if a CCJ actually exists as it’ll be registered here. 
  • If you’ve sadly fallen for this scam, call Action Fraud and your bank immediately – check out this guide on how to get your money back.

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