Illegal money lending
Protect yourself from illegal money lenders, more commonly known as loan sharks.
What is a loan shark?
Loan sharks are illegal money lenders who charge very high interest rates. They operate without a licence, often targeting vulnerable people.
Loan sharking is a criminal offence.
Loan sharks may start out friendly, but their behaviour can change when payments are missed. You may be tempted to borrow from them but if you do it is likely:
- The loan will be on very bad terms
- You will pay extremely high interest
- You will be given little or no paperwork
- You will be harassed if you fall behind with repayments (many loan sharks resort to intimidation, threats and violence)
- You will be pressured into borrowing more money to pay off the original debt
What to do if you are being harassed or suspect a loan shark
Harassment is against the law. If you are being harassed you should report it to your local police officer, dialing 101 (non emergency number). If you are in immediate danger dial 999. If you suspect that you or someone you know has a loan or owes money to a loan shark you can report them.
You can report an illegal money lender on the Stop Loan Sharks website.