by prestwichfocus on 3 December, 2015
This week is a ‘week of action’ to raise awareness about illegal money lenders.
An estimated 310,000 households across the country are in debt to a loan shark, and with Christmas approaching there are fears more people will be targeted. Parents wanting to buy their children the latest toy or craze and make sure they have a magical Christmas can add to existing financial pressures, tempting people to turn to moneylenders to help pay for Christmas. To lend money lawfully you have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). People who lend money without being FCA authorised are breaking the law, operating illegally and are commonly referred to as loan sharks. Illegal Money lending is a criminal offence under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 section 23 and carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 2 years…
How can you tell if a lender is operating illegally?
The following warning signs, may indicate its illegal lending:
– A lender who gives little or no paperwork;
– A lender who won’t say how much is still owed or what the interest rates are;
– A lender who adds random charges to the loan or continues to increase the amount;
– A lender who takes items as security (These could include passports, bank or benefits cards);
– A lender who is intimidating, threatening or violent.
Week of Action
Operation Challenger is the Greater Manchester Police forces designated lead on Organised Crime. The Week of Action will focus on community awareness raising of the problems with borrowing from loan sharks.
To report a loan shark
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark’ + your message to 60003
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject
Twitter: http://twitter.com/GMPolice and your local feed @GMPPrestwich.