LAKENHEATH PARISH COUNCIL
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.
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. 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
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.
How to protect yourself
Have you been receiving these calls?
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.
Scam HMRC Calls
Both Suffolk Trading Standards and Suffolk Police are continuing to receive reports of residents receiving calls from individuals purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs (the tax office).
Fraudsters are typically contacting the elderly and vulnerable, warning victims of arrest warrants, outstanding debts or unpaid taxes in their name.
On occasions, victims have been told to purchase a quantity of music vouchers or told a sum of cash will be collected from their home address.
We would like to remind residents that HMRC will never make phone calls, use text messages or email to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty and will never ask for payment in this way.
How to protect yourself:
Report fraud and cyber crime and receive a police crime reference number.