POLICE are warning businesses to be vigilant after a Bexhill care home received a phone call from a conman posing as a bailiff.
Last Thursday (April 9) the man called The Normanhurst claiming to be working on behalf of Northampton County Court as a bailiff.
He told staff at the home in De La Warr Parade that the business owed money to an advertising website that had won a small claim against them.
The caller gave his name as ‘Craig Anderson’ and claimed that the money is owed immediately.
When the man’s story was questioned, he made threats that his bailiffs were only a short distance away from the home and that if payment was not made immediately then the cost would increase.
Sussex Police say they are linking the incident with a similar scam which was reported in West Sussex last month.
An unnamed hotel in Littlehampton received a suspicious phone call on March 25.
Once again the caller maintained that monies were owed for services and that bailiffs were nearby to collect goods or furniture.
Fortunately neither the care home or hotel agreed to any such transactions to the man over the phone and reported the incidents to Sussex Police.
A spokesperson for the Force said it appeared that the man is targeting smaller local businesses.
Sussex Police have issued the following advice to small businesses in the Bexhill area:
* If you receive any unexpected/suspicious calls from someone asking you to pay money over the phone - do not pay.
*Try to obtain the phone number the person is calling from using 1471.
*Report it by contacting the police via email@example.com or by calling 101.
Alternatively anyone affected can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or go to their website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/to report the incident.
Anyone who may have any information that would help Sussex Police with their investigation is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org call the Force’s non-emergency 101 number, quoting serial 723 of 9/04 for the Bexhill incident and serial 770 of 25/03 for Littlehampton.