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    Bailiff companies sometimes send text messages to mobile numbers, who they think might be the debtor. It is a method of tracing missing debtors and seeing if it provokes a response and gets your identity. Never respond to unsolicited or nuisance text messages. Even if the sender’s identity is hidden, you can hand it in to the Information Commissioners Office with a complaint under section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 by completing an online form.

    You are receiving nuisance SMS text messages from a bailiff company


    Anyone who sends to another person electronic communication or document to cause distress or anxiety if his purpose is to obtain an unlawful money transfer is guilty of an offence.

    If the message is causing you anxiety or distress then the sender commits an offence under Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

    Section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 also provides prohibition of harassment.

    Bailiff companies send text messages asking you to call them because they don’t know where you are, and are not even sure if your mobile number is correct, so they send out text messages to see if it provokes a response. If you return the call, they will ask you to confirm your address or similar. They are trying to garner information about you.

    Messages can be like these:

    You have failed to make contact with Newlyn. ENFORCEMENT AGENT IS DUE TO ATTEND to REMOVE GOODS as per COURT ORDER. To AVOID ACTION call 01604 633001

    DO NOT IGNORE THIS MESSAGE. An Enforcement Agent may be re-allocated to your account and your goods may be removed. Contact JBW on 0844 576 3620, Ref 1234567

    Your account will shortly be issued to an Enforcement Agent to visit you at your home. Contact JBW on 0844 576 3620, Ref 1234567 Security code 1234


    If the senders number is concealed or is unroutable, then the message is spam. Report it to the ICO online here

    Bailiff companies obtain mobile numbers when debtors call them, and start sending spam text messages.

    Otherwise, follow these simple steps:

    1. Using an app, such as ‘Calls Blacklist’ or ‘WhosCall‘, you can see who is calling you even if the number is not in your contacts. It shares a global database of numbers provided by its users, and warns of unwanted callers. With WhoCall, it helps others if you allow the app to add your bailiffs mobile number to the global database so others can see his name and bailiff company on the screen before they answer it. If you ban the number using the app, it will be banned globally to all users of similar app’s that shares the same nuisance caller database.

    2. Call your phone company and ask for their nuisance or malicious calls team, they can block the sender. If enough people complain then persistent offenders can be fined and have their service disconnected.

    3. You need to show the demand the bailiff is making false and no money is lawfully due, or the debt is not compliant with the law. You do this by running a debt compliance check, and then run an enforcement compliance check. If after completing these checks, there is still money lawfully due then get it settled with the creditor straight away, or deploy Pay & Reclaim.

    4. Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and newer, enables automatic blocking of text messages sent by known spammers from a shared database of reported spammers, or senders concealing their number. From Marshmallow, open then spam message or caller, then select, More >> Report Number >> General Spam >> then add the name of the bailiff company into the field beneath. The sender is unaware their messages and calls do not reach the recipients handset and has been added to the database of reported spammers.

    5. You can report the offender to the police using this template letter below and back this up with a call to police on the non-emergency 101 number. If a company is sending the messages intending to dishonestly acquire money from you that a court has not ordered you to pay or there is no law that says you must pay, then an offence may have been committed under Section 993 of the Companies Act 2006.


    Make a criminal complaint of Harassment by Text Message.


    Under Section 3 of the Protection of Harassment Act 1997, you can claim damages for (among other things) any anxiety caused by the harassment and any financial loss resulting from the harassment.


    You can apply for an injunction against the offender and always ask for your costs. If you are on a low income, complete a court form EX160a and read the accompanying guidance notes. Telephone your local county court and ask for the forms needed to make the application.

    You must make the following very clear in your grounds when you complete the form.

    1. The sender is believed to be a bailiff or a bailiff company

    2. There is no debt, and the offender is pretending there is

    3. The messages are causing you distress and anxiety

    4. A list of the number of text messages and the date each one was sent

    5. If you have incurred a financial loss, this should be mentioned

    6. If you have needed medical help for the stress or anxiety then include a doctors statement

    7. Say the application is made under section 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997

    If you have needed to see a doctor and have a diagnosis that was caused wholly or in part, by a bailiff sending you spam or nuisance text messages then you can make a personal injury claim. It does not matter if the bailiffs text messages have aggravated a pre-existing medical condition.

    If you have to pay a doctor to provide a statement, these costs can be applied for in your application.

    Do not reply to any text messages, just keep them in a safe place in case the court asks to see them.


    Bailiffs and bailiff companies sometimes send you spam emails. If any email contains a threat then these can be handed into the police.

    If you are using an email client program then you should always add the senders email address to “junk”. This adds the sender’s domain name and email server IP address to a database of known email spammers and will block their server from spamming others.

    You can also do this using an online webmail service such as, Gmail and Yahoo because they share a database of known mail server IP addresses used by spammers and they can block future unsolicited emails reaching in-boxes.

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