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Fraudulent claims and fake enforcement agents
We have recently been contacted by a client who received a telephone call from an enforcement agent warning that he would be sending agents to our client’s business address to remove vehicles and property within 2 hours of the telephone call.
Almost six years ago our client had committed to sponsoring an anti bullying leaflet for local schools. He was then pursued for more money after the first payment with the publisher stating that he had signed up to a rolling contract (which was not the case).
This scam is well known and is highlighted on the Office of Fair Trading website.
It appears that scammers are now revisiting people that signed up several years ago.
Napthens were instructed to liaise with the enforcement agent, who at the time we thought was genuine.
Upon contacting the enforcement agent by telephone he was extremely credible and knew the enforcement procedures inside out.
The agent had made an offer that our client could pay a reduced amount to bring the issue to a conclusion if it was made by bank transfer. Our client refused as he knew that he had not received any Court papers.
Due to the small amount of time between the agent call and the proposed visit to our client’s business address we were unable to verify with the Court whether or not a claim had actually been made.
During discussions with the agent he stated that our client could make a payment direct to them by bank transfer but would then need to file form N9 with the Court to dispute the debt. If our client had contacted the agent himself he may not have been aware that form N9 is a Defence and Counterclaim form.
By quoting that form it became apparent that the agent was not legitimate as form N9 would be used at the start of a Court issued claim, not during the enforcement process.
We informed the agent that our client would have his property locked up and have several of his members of staff with him inside the property if an attempt to gain entry was made. We also advised that the Police would be informed of this approach and that the agent’s telephone number will be passed on.
Our client later confirmed that he heard nothing further from the “agent” and that no one visited his property.