Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Friday December 28, 2018 Steer clear of loan sharks this Christmas.

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People are being warned of the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks.

Wiltshire Council is working in partnership with The England Illegal Money Lending Team and other partner agencies across England to advise people to be cautious when borrowing money.

Loan sharks lend money without the correct permission from the Financial Conduct Authority. They may initially appear friendly and helpful, however this behaviour soon changes once money is owed. Loan sharks will commonly resort to bullying tactics such as violence and intimidation to enforce repayment, causing borrowers misery and stress.

They rarely provide paperwork on the loans they give out and will often refuse to tell the borrower how much they owe, the period they have to pay it back by and how much interest they are being charged.

Nationally, the England Illegal Money Lending Team have secured 368 prosecutions, leading to over 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. The team have also written off over £71 million of illegal debt. 

Residents are being encouraged to get talking about loan sharks on social media during Christmas by using the designated hashtag #StopLoanSharks

Keep up with the latest news stories on Twitter (@LoanSharkNews) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject)

Get in touch by calling the team’s 24 hour hotline on 0300 555 2222 or email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk