Loan Sharks (Illegal Money-Lending) and Scams

Money lenders in the UK have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority ('FCA'), who have rules and regulations in place to protect those who borrow money. Illegal money lenders often called 'loan sharks', are not authorised by the FCA and are breaking the law.

'Loan sharks' usually charge very high interest rates, provide borrowers with little or no paperwork and target people who need money quickly or are having difficulties getting credit. The interest they add to their loans can make repayments difficult, debt levels spiral out of control and they can quickly become intimidating and threatening to borrowers if they are struggling to keep up with repayments.

If the answer is 'yes' to one or more of these questions then it might indicate that someone has been the victim of an illegal money lender or 'loan shark':

  • Did they offer a cash loan?
  • Did they not provide any paperwork?
  • Did they add huge amounts of interest or APR to the loan?
  • Have they threatened or intimidated the borrower?
  • Is the borrower scared of people finding out?
  • Have they taken a bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from the borrower?

There are several services available to help people who are having trouble managing debt and some specifically for those who have been the victims of illegal money lending practices.

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