What is a loan shark?
A money lender has to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to lend money legally. Money lenders who aren’t authorised by the FCA are breaking the law. They are known as loan sharks.
Loan sharks charge very high rates of interest and don't give you much paperwork to confirm the arrangements they've made with you. A loan shark usually has lots of customers and lends money like a business, but their lending is illegal.
Loan sharks often take other illegal action to collect the money they've lent you, such as threatening violence or taking away your credit cards or valuables. In extreme cases, they've been known to force non-payers into prostitution and drug dealing.
For more information about how to spot a loan shark, check out the video below:
How do I seek help?
Stop Loan Sharks are available to help anyone affected by illegal money lending, not only victims, but their friends and family too.
They can provide the information you need to understand your options and next steps. All information given will be treated in the strictest confidence and the loan shark won’t know we’re investigating them.
If you think a money lender is operating without being FCA authorised, you can speak in confidence to the Stop Loan Sharks Hotline on 0300 555 2222 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit their website.
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