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Say no to loan sharks this christmas!

2017 - November, News and events

Christmas is a time when everyone tends to overspend because they are trying to make the season perfect. Sometimes people are tempted to spend more money than they have – and that makes them a target for loan sharks.

Don’t get caught out this year. It’s easy to fall in to their grip. They seem like friendly people at first, but their behaviour can soon turn nasty if you owe them money.

It might seem like a good idea to borrow a few pounds to buy some treats, but with a loan shark you have no idea how much interest you’ll pay. Borrowing from them could result in your paying back extortionate rates, with threats included if you miss a payment.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) wants to warn everyone not to fall into the loan shark trap this Christmas.

Don’t borrow from anyone if you are given little or no paperwork. Don’t borrow if you have to give personal items such as your passport or driving licence as security. 


If you are subjected to intimidation or threats by a money lender, or have extra money added to your debt unexpectedly you have been caught by a loan shark. Report them immediately.

IMLT can help people who have been a victim of a loan shark. The first step is to call their hotline on 0300 555 2222. They are there to help, not judge, and will let you know what your options are so you can decide what to do. You can even call anonymously if you want.

The IMLT have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off nearly £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and have helped over 27,000 victims.

You can check if someone is authorised to lend money by visiting the Financial Conduct Authority’s website and searching for a company, person or postcode through their Financial Services Register

To report a loan shark:

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