If you go down to the court today, you’re in for a big surprise!
If I told you that I’d had an email from a Nigerian prince, wanting to pay me a huge sum of money for no reason, you’d all laugh.
If I told you that I’d had a strange email from my co director, wanting to know if I was at my desk and could I make an urgent payment for him as he’s out of the office, even though he’s two feet away from me and can see I’m at my desk, you’d nod wisely and know exactly what I was talking about.
If I told you that I’d had a call from a bailiff, in respect of a genuine judgment, telling me that unless I paid £45,000 in to court he’d be attending at my client’s premises later on that day to take goods away, you’d assume that my next call would be to the client to sort out the payment. So it would no doubt surprise you to learn that it was an attempted fraud, although a much more sophisticated one than the first two.
In this scenario, the judgement had already been set aside, and the solicitor on the other side confirmed that they had not instructed the bailiffs to attend, so we were immediately suspicious. Fortunately we have very good safeguards in place so even if it had been more plausible, it would still have quickly become apparent that this was a con. Strangely the thing that first made us suspicious was the fact that the “court bailiff” was working past 4pm and his “case manager” at the court was still answering the phone at 4:30. If you’ve ever dealt with the courts, you’d know how rare that is. Nevertheless although we were reasonably certain it was not legitimate, to err on the side of caution we still sent one of our team to our client’s premises, just to be on the safe side. That’s how convincing the conmen were.
So there’s no legal advice here today, but a reminder of the need to be on your guard. A wise man often tells me that the most dangerous scam is the one you haven’t heard of yet.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Full of surprises!