On the 15th November the Money Advice Team is focusing on raising awareness among staff and students about the dangers of borrowing from Loan Sharks. As part of the initiative, the Money Advice Team will be joined by professionals from the National Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team to offer advice and information about loan sharks.
It’s important to remember that anyone can be a victim of a loan shark – they’re not always easy to spot, often appearing friendly – just part of the community. They are always illegal money lenders who operate as an unauthorised business.
How to recognise a loan shark:
- A loan shark will typically have little paperwork and will add penalty charges for late payments. Sometimes they will add random sums to the bill.
- They will often refuse to tell the borrower how much they still owe and when they will finish repayments.
- They may take items as security- including passports, bank cards and driving licences.
- A typical loan shark will resort to threats, intimidation and violence to get what they think they are owed – even if the debt has been paid off several times over.
Many victims keep paying because they think they can afford the agreed weekly sum, but they don’t realise how much their continuing weekly payments add up to or they are too afraid to stop payments.
Reporting loan sharks
If you spot a loan shark or you’ve borrowed money from one you can report them anonymously.
Contact: Illegal Money Lending Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 0300 555 2222 24-hour service
Text: LOAN SHARK and the lender’s details to 078600 22116
For more information see: www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks