The Sheriff Is Coming? Beware of Judgment Frauds and Scams!

Imagine taking a call from a “High Court Enforcement Officer” requiring you to pay a Judgment that you have no knowledge of and indicating that if you didn’t pay immediately, the High Court Enforcement Officer was coming to your premises immediately to seize goods. How would you react?


This was a situation which one of our clients faced earlier this month when they received a call from an individual purporting to be from the “High Court Enforcement Agency”. It related to a Judgment of a few thousand pounds of which the company had no knowledge.


Thankfully, the client telephoned us and we were able to explain what a genuine High Court Enforcement Officer would do, the paperwork that the client would have received prior to receiving any call from the High Court Enforcement Officer and how Judgments are recovered in that situation.


This was a scam.


If you have a Judgment which has been obtained against you, you will usually have received paperwork from the Court in the form of a Claim Form followed by a formal document called a Judgment recording what you were required to pay. If the Judgment is enforced, either the County Court Bailiff or the High Court Enforcement Officer will visit your premises.  The Enforcement Officer will show you identification together with genuine paperwork to demonstrate that the Judgment is legitimate and they have authority to collect it.  You should verify both the ID of the individual who attends at your premises and ensure that the paperwork is genuine – talk to your solicitor and send them the paperwork.  A County Court Bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer will readily make available identification documents to you, and give you an opportunity to take legal advice.


Even if you receive a telephone call threating to visit your premises immediately, do not pay any “Judgment” that you are told about without having full paperwork made available to you and for you to have verified that paperwork. A number of scams that we have seen are sophisticated and may appear, at first flush, to be genuine.  It is the element of surprise that causes businesses not to do their homework before making payments.


If you receive an unexpected telephone call about a Judgment or a telephone call asking you to pay a Judgment (even if it one that you know about), always ensure that you fully verify to whom you are paying any money and that it is a genuine claim. Do not hesitate to take legal advice.


Hollingsworths Solicitors are litigation specialists: get in touch for help with your litigation and debt recovery issues.

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