Warning About Loan Sharks in Exeter
Published: 25 August 2023
People are being warned about the dangers of getting involved with loan sharks.
The warning comes from the England Illegal Money Lending Team, who believe loan sharks may be operating in Exeter.
The EIMLT said: “A loan shark is someone who lends money illegally and without the proper authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to do so. These criminals are lurking everywhere and they could be a parent in the school playground, a friend of the family, a friend of a friend, a neighbour or someone who you meet on social media or via an app and with the current cost of living crisis, loan sharks are looking for anyone who needs to borrow money.
“They can make the offer of quick cash seem hard to resist but very quickly the situation can spiral out of control, the outstanding debt can escalate rapidly and borrowers can be subjected to threats, violence, intimidation or worse in order to continue paying them.
“The warning signs to indicate that you could be dealing with an illegal money lender or loan shark include them not undertaking any credit checks, not giving borrowers any paperwork or a contract, refusing to give borrowers any detailed information about the loan and how it’s to be paid back, not issuing receipts, taking items such as a bank cards or passports as security against the loan, taking things from you if you do not pay on time and for example, using threats, intimidation and harassment to pay.”
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (EIMLT) is a dedicated team of specialists that are leading the fight against loan sharks. They have helped over 32,000 borrowers escape the clutches of these criminals and have wiped out over £90 million worth of illegal debt.
The borrower is not in trouble if they have taken any money or have been paying back a loan from a loan shark – the loan shark is the only person who has committed a crime.
“If you or someone you know is being affected by illegal money lenders, then contact the Stop Loan Shark team for help, support and advice on 0300 555 2222 (available 24/7/365) or visit their website at www.stoploansharks.co.uk where a Live chat facility is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday inclusive and all callers can remain anonymous,” said the EIMLT.
“If you need to borrow money, then credit unions for example are a safe and ethical option. They're local, friendly and not-for-profit organisations.”