The British Healthcare Trade Association (BHTA) has alerted its members to remain vigilant after at least seven businesses were targeted by a “difficult to spot” scam.
The alarm was raised after a stairlift business was contacted by an individual claiming to be a high court enforcement officer.
An individual informed the company that it owed money to the HRMC and was about to be submitted with a high court writ.
He claimed to be giving the company the chance to protest while making the payment to court solicitors.
Described as “highly persuasive”, the individual impersonated a genuine bailiff and name dropped a genuine solicitor, as well as referred to a debt recovery agency which is used by HMRC.
Six further member companies confirmed having recently been approached with the same scam.
Sarah Lepak, Head of Policy and Compliance at the British Healthcare Trades Association, said: “This scam was highly targeted and very difficult to spot. Fortunately, our member was particularly observant and recognised that all was not what it seems. However, it is important others in the industry are aware that this type of scam is taking place.
“We would encourage all companies to be extremely cautious when money is being requested from an unfamiliar source and to share with the Association when these scams appear.”
To learn more about this particular scam and the actions to take, visit the HMRC website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/guidance-on-bailiff-and-enforcement-officer-scam
For general advice on spotting and avoiding scams targeting businesses, visit the CTSI’s Business Advice page here: https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/miscellaneous/business-scams