Individuals in IVAs, PTDs or debt should be vigilant regarding fraudulent debt enforcement emails and text messages

IPA Insolvency Practitioner newsletter, December 2023

We have observed a troubling trend recently, one that raises concerns for individuals in financial difficulties. We have noted a significant surge in the number of emails and text messages circulating, ostensibly related to debt enforcement and creditor debt enforcement actions, but which are fraudulent and attempt to dupe the recipient into paying money to fake enforcement firms. This trend has also been noted by CIVEA, the organisation that represents approximately 40 companies that make up more than 95% of the entire enforcement industry. They have produced further information on the scams.

What deeply troubles us is the potential for individuals to hastily respond to these emails and texts when they recognise the names of their creditors, without taking the time to carefully scrutinise the content. This concerning development necessitates our collective attention, as hasty actions could have far-reaching consequences on personal finances and wellbeing.

To safeguard yourself, be vigilant for the following red flags:

Generic sender addresses: Fraudulent emails typically originate from generic Gmail or other free email service accounts. Legitimate debt collection agencies and creditors employ official domain emails for communication.

Inaccurate data: These fraudulent emails may contain inaccuracies, such as misspelled names, incorrect financial figures, or vague references to creditors, and they don’t contain valid references or account details.

Unsolicited threats: The fraudulent messages often employ intimidating language and threats of legal action, such as County Court Judgments (CCJ), without furnishing substantial evidence or legal documentation.

Pressure tactics: Scammers attempt to rush you into making payments or seeking resolution without providing ample time to verify the claims or consult with a trusted advisor.

Protection for individuals in an IVA or PTD: For those already enrolled in an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) or a Protected Trust Deed (PTD), please be aware that creditors are legally bound by the terms of your debt solution. Creditors and debt collection agencies must adhere to these agreements.

How to deal with suspected fraudulent emails and texts:

Seek confirmation from your IVA Supervisor or PTD Trustee: If you suspect that a debt has not been accurately recorded or have concerns about your debt solution, your first course of action should be contacting your supervisor or trustee. They can provide clarity and guidance on your specific situation.

Report as spam: If you receive an email that displays any of the characteristics mentioned above, we urge you to label it as spam in your email. Similarly, text messages can be blocked and reported as spam. By doing so, you help protect others from falling victim to these scams.

Report to Action Fraud: If you have been a victim, this should be reported and suspicious emails can be forwarded to

Please note that the primary advantage of statutory debt solutions such as IVAs or Protected Trust Deeds is the legal protection they offer. Creditors are bound to the terms of the agreement, ensuring that they cannot initiate legal actions against you without justifiable cause. If you are in a debt solution, you should contact your Insolvency Practitioner to discuss any concerns you have about your debts and any creditor correspondence that concerns you.

Useful link

The Little Guide to… preventing fraud and cyber crime (Metropolitan Police)