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Insights

Top tips for protecting against litigation fraud

Posted on 24th June 2020 in Parks

Posted by

Leah Joyner

Paralegal
Top tips for protecting against litigation fraud

Fraudsters and other con artists employ ever more intelligent tricks to get their hands on money, by threatening legal action for alleged non-payment of invoices or illegal use of copyrighted materials.

Clever tactics and the advancement of technology have meant it is increasingly easier to make false claims against business owners, and therefore becomes much harder to determine what is a legitimate claim and what response is needed.

The Parks industry is not immune to litigation fraud, but by following the below steps you can help identify and deal with any false claims.

 

1. Do not panic

Do not immediately comply with the demands of the letter/document, write an angry response, or destroy the letter in the hope that the issue will go away.

 

2. Keep good records

Keep a note of when you received the letter and any accompanying documents.

 

3. Check to see who sent the letter.

Research the individual or company to see if they have a website or are registered on Companies House. Search the contact number and/or email address on the Web, does it appear legitimate? Have others taken to the Web to complain about similar scams?

 

4. Look carefully at the content of the letter.

Does the letter look legitimate? Are there spelling or grammatical mistakes that might indicate the sender is not located in the UK? Has the sender clearly explained the legal basis of the claim?

 

5. Consider whether you should notify your insurance company that you have received a legal threat.

Failure to do so may mean you are not covered in the event that the claim is legitimate.

 

6. If court documents are enclosed, ring the court to be certain they are legitimate.

You should comply with any timescales given by the court as a failure to do so could result in you losing the right to defend the claim or further costs incurred/awarded against you.

 

7. Review the situation and the facts.

Write down everything you know about the situation.

 

8. Check whether the letter or documents specifies a time by which they expect you to comply with its demands.

If the sender expects immediate compliance, and you need time to investigate the claim, consider writing to the sender advising that you have received the correspondence and need time to consider and respond to the claims made. Give them a date by which you expect to be able to provide a response – and keep to it.

 

9. If the letter is from a debt collection agency, check on the Web to make sure they are legitimate.

Do not be immediately alarmed by threats to visit you personally. Only county and high court bailiffs have any powers of enforcement. The rest cannot require that you let them in your home/premises.

 

10. Take action (or not).

If the letter or documents appears legitimate, take legal advice. This may help determine whether you should i) do nothing more; ii) defend the claim; or iii) prepare for a hearing (if one has been scheduled). Alternatively, if you are satisfied the letter or document is legitimate – call their bluff.

 

11. Contact ActionFraud.

If a scam is suspected, contact ActionFraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.

 

To find out more information about litigation fraud and how to identify it please visit our hub page. If you need advice about suspected litigation fraud, or a previous case, then our specialist team will be happy to help.

Contact the team

 

 

 

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