Warning: helpingwithdebt.co.uk and themoneyadvicecentre.org.uk

Two websites (https://helpingwithdebt.co.uk/ and https://themoneyadvicecentre.org.uk/) run by The Money Advice Centre Limited (company number 14186998, incorporated 21 June 2022) are being actively used to impersonate services of Next Step Insolvency (company number 14713530, incorporated 7 March 2023). The websites have falsely used the credentials of Next Step Insolvency and Kevin Duffy. Neither are linked with these websites in any way.

What should you do?

When a firm’s or individual’s identity has been copied exactly (or cloned), it is very difficult to spot this initially. Due diligence is necessary and a major priority. If you receive calls or correspondence purporting to be from the aforementioned firm, you should conduct your own due diligence by checking the authenticity of the contact/correspondence by contacting the firm directly and asking for company director ID validation and by using other reliable and established means such as Companies House information to validate Director names. You can also trace firms through business and marketing channels such as LinkedIn for company/personnel profiles and to ask other firms for references. You can contact the IPA to find out if individuals or firms are regulated and authorised by the IPA and verify an individual or firm practice details. You can also check on the Insolvency Service website for practitioner details and their contact details to speak to them directly.

Other verification methods, such as checking public records (e.g. telephone directories and company records) may be required in some circumstances in order to speak to someone other than the person that called you – it is important not to take the content of a website at face value as these details could be mostly genuine in terms of company registration number details, ICO registration number or registered address details. Additionally, you should always go elsewhere to validate whomever appears to ‘regulate’ the firm or ask to speak to the Insolvency Practitioner directly and ask for their licence details as well as a telephone number. It is important to verify the Insolvency Practitioner or company from multiple sources and carefully check the specific details of email addresses and phone numbers.