Garage owners have been advised to be wary of a sophisticated new scam in which fraudsters claim to be a high court bailiff from a local civil justice centre.
Cases have been reported in Lincoln, Bradford and Swansea, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) has warned.
In recent cases, the caller claims to have bailiffs due to arrive at the business premises within one to two hours to remove a specific value of goods for failing to go to court.
The calls are reported to be extremely convincing because the caller knows the full name of the garage owner and business address.
An IGA spokesperson said: “The caller may give further false information in great detail.
“This could include fake information about why the bailiffs are are coming to the premises, which is likely to be due to not cancelling a contract after a free period.
“The fraudster may claim that they have listened to a recording of the business owner calling to cancel after the free period, to be told to put it in writing which was never received.
“Other false information may include a fake phone number for the local County Court, which plays an automated message pre-recorded by the fraudsters and a fake court reference number.”
Garage owners are advised to contact their local court to verify suspected scams.
Cases can be reported Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or filling in an online report on the Action Fraud website.