Council ‘war’ on loan sharks
Published Saturday 29th December 2012
Ipswich Borough Council is declaring war on loan sharks who prey on the vulnerable. A week of action is taking place in January in the south-east of the town.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team and Suffolk County Council's Trading Standards team, along with the Borough Council and other agencies, will be holding a week of action from 28th January to 3rd February to raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks and to encourage people to contact the Ipswich & Suffolk Credit Union.
Illegal money lending loan sharks or unlicensed money-lenders operate outside the law. They charge very high interest rates and might use threats and violence to frighten people who cannot pay back the money they borrowed.
If you are experiencing financial problems you might be tempted to borrow from them but if you do it is likely you will pay an extremely high interest rate and will be harassed if you fall behind with repayments. You will also be pressured into borrowing more money to pay the original debt. But if you have borrowed from an illegal money-lender you are not the criminal, they are.
Activities during the week of action include community advocate sessions at the Salvation Army Priory Centre on the following dates:
Wednesday 30th January (1pm to 3pm), Friday 1st February (1pm to 3pm) and Saturday 2nd February (10am to noon).
Councillor Keith Rawlingson, Chair of Ipswich Borough Council's South-East Area Committee, said: "Many people who borrow from loan sharks are subjected to threats and violence. Anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark should report this in confidence; they can get help and action can be taken against the loan shark."
To report a loan shark:
- Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222;
- Text 'loan shark + your message' to 60003;
- E-mail: email@example.com;
- Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject;
- Log on to www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks.
If you are in immediate danger phone 999.