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Dan Sherlock

Partner - Sevenoaks and Ashford

9th February 2018

Fraudulent debt collectors target SMEs

If you or your business have recently been presented with a debt collection claim that looks suspicious or questionable then you could be a target of a growing trend in scam debt collection agencies.

Fraudulent debt collectors are going to great lengths to collect bogus debts by presenting high quality forgeries of bank statements and other documentation in Court that appear to evidence an outstanding debt. Often these fraudulent claims can be for tens of thousands of pounds.

These sophisticated scams take advantage of the fact that the Court’s do not ordinarily spend their time examining copies of bank statements to determine if they are genuine or not, and are likely to take what is presented to them at face value. Also, some companies simply do not take claims seriously until it is too late and they have a judgment debt against them.

Faced with claims that the victim knows is a scam, lawyers are unfortunately hampered by rules preventing them from making an allegation of fraud in Court unless a compelling reason exists to do so.

Under these circumstances, the standard route followed by most lawyers is to seek a Court Order requiring the bank to provide an original copy of the documents. However, this option is flawed because few lawyers appreciate that the Court must be told that the bank’s version of the statement is likely to show a difference, which, in effect, is making an allegation of fraud and is likely to be dismissed by the Court.

However, there is help at hand. Rix & Kay’s specialist Dispute Resolution team have a strong track record of defeating these types of fraudulent claims and have detailed knowledge of the law and various Acts of Parliament that are required to present successful cases to the Court.

Where a fraudulent claim does exists, even when high quality forgeries of documents are presented, Rix & Kay can help businesses and individuals to expose fraudsters in Court and ensure that suitable Injunctions are obtained to prevent any future misconduct.

If you would like to discuss these issues with one of our team then please email dansherlock@rixandkay.co.uk

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