Don’t get caught out by paying the wrong person – the debt collection perspective

Following the recent case of Sell Your Car with Us Ltd v Anil Sareen [2019], we wanted to put together some useful tips to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of paying the wrong person, especially if it is a scam.

We see this time and time again, both clients and their customers being duped by fake payment details. Unfortunately, even if you have paid the amount due but just to the wrong account or to a scammer, you are still liable to pay your creditor.

Here are some of our useful tips to ensure you don’t get caught out by a scam or an accounting error:

Know your customer/supplier

  • If payment details are sent to you via email, call your customer/supplier and verify the information.
  • Don’t part with your money until you are certain it is going to the right place.
  • Paying the incorrect party is not sufficient to discharge a debt and nobody wants to pay twice.

Who are you dealing with?

Sounds simple but is it a limited company or an individual. A trading style is not a legal entity so always find out exactly who it is that you are engaging with. Debts that are not clearly identifiable as the responsibility of a specific party, cannot easily be collected.

Allowing your customer, a credit facility?

If you are thinking about allowing them a credit facility, are they credit worthy? Anyone who seriously wants to deal with you, will be prepared to provide evidence of their creditworthiness.

Don’t be afraid to ask a potential customer to provide a reference or allow you to undertake a credit search.

As mentioned above, if payment details are sent to you via email, call your customer/supplier and verify the information.

Is a winding up petition a means of debt collection?

Often hailed as a drastic and somewhat aggressive approach, we often see debtors attempt to defend a petition on the basis that it is not really a means of debt recovery.

However, if the debt has not been disputed and all other means of collection have been exhausted, it is refreshing to note that, if the process has been followed correctly and the objective is to obtain payment, it is an acceptable method of collection.

Our objective and that of our client’s is always a resolution and a recovery. Winding up is never the first course of action but it is an alternative which we won’t shy away from, if we consider it is in the best interests of our client.


If you have a debt that you would like help with, contact our specialist team on 0800 009 6106 or

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