Subscribe to our RSS Feed Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook


When it snows go to derbyshire.gov.uk/snow
Or call 08456 058 058 for

      > School Closures
      > Latest Weather
      > Road Conditions
      > Grit Bins
      > Gritting Routes















You Are Not Logged In
Login To Amber Valley Info

Derbyshire Trading Standards Back A Campaign Aiming To Stop Loan Sharks

Published on Saturday 28 November 2020

Trading standards officers at Derbyshire County Council are backing a campaign to raise awareness of loan sharks so that residents can protect themselves.
 


The pre-Christmas campaign is being spearheaded by the government-funded England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) which has the power to investigate and prosecute loan sharks.

Residents are urged to be on their guard against unscrupulous loan sharks who may try to exploit the coronavirus outbreak and the approach of Christmas to prey on people’s financial worries.

Loan sharks charge extortionate interest rates and often intimidate, threaten and trap vulnerable victims in a cycle of fear and violence.

These criminals may seem friendly at first but borrowing from them could have serious consequences for residents and their families.

Some lenders have been known to take a victim’s passport, driving licence, benefits and bank cards as security for the loan, and many begin to make their borrowers feel threatened or intimidated. Some even become violent towards their victims if they fail to pay, leaving them terrified.

The IMLT has the power to investigate and prosecute loan sharks. Since 2004, the team has helped more than 29,000 people escape the misery of loan sharks. They have also prosecuted nearly 400 loan sharks and written off more than £75 million worth of illegal debt.

The Stop Loan Sharks confidential helpline service on 0300 555 2222 is open 24 hours a day and staff provide specialist information and support for victims. There is also a Stop Loan Sharks app on Google Play and the Apple App Store

People can report a loan shark to them in confidence and anonymously.

Councillor Carol Hart, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities said: “Loan sharks prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities. They intimidate, manipulate and trap people into a spiral of debt. I urge residents to remain vigilant and watch out for illegal money lenders trying to take advantage during these difficult times, especially as the approach of Christmas can add extra financial pressure.”

Councillor Hart added that Derbyshire Community Bank, and other credit unions in the county, offer safe and easy services without the crippling interest rates charged by loan sharks.

“I would urge people to use credit unions to borrow money, if they need to, instead of a loan shark. Loan sharks can mean people end up paying back many thousands of pounds for just a small loan.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We are launching this awareness drive now as more people may be under increasing financial pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you are struggling for financial help then credit unions offer a safe and easy place to turn for advice and support. You can also get help and discuss your options with organisations like Citizens Advice, StepChange and the Money Advice Service.”

How to protect yourself and report loan sharks operating in your community:

1. Do not accept cash loans, even if the lender seems friendly or helpful as they may ask for unrealistic and unaffordable payments in return.
2. Avoid loan sharks at all costs and consider other options if you need to borrow money. Credit unions offer ethical savings and loans to local communities. Find a credit union near you – www.creditu.co.uk
3. To lend money lawfully you must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can search the FCA Financial Services register to check if the lender is legal at register.fca.org.uk. If you have already borrowed money from someone who isn’t FCA authorised, you haven’t broken the law, they have.

If you have been the victim of a loan shark, contact the Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or report online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk
 




More News From Amber Valley Info

Read Some Of The Latest News Articles From Amber Valley Info

Firefighters step up to further assist COVID response Fire and Rescue Service staff across the country will be providing even more support in the national fight against COVID. read more

Calls for frontline officers to be offered the Covid-19 vaccination as a priority and staff Derbyshires Chief Constable and Police Crime Commissioner are calling on the Government t read more

Watch the stars come out while you stay in Januarys annual stargazing event at Alvaston Park has been a heavenly highlight for ten years, but in these different times it is going on read more

Shirebrook and South Normanton coronavirus testing stations to open Two more community testing stations are to open for people living Shirebrook and South Normanton.  read more

Winding Wheel one of seven new COVID-19 vaccination sites Chesterfields iconic Winding Wheel theatre will become Derbyshires latest COVID-19 vaccination site, continuing the rapid r read more




The Amber Valley Info Noticeboard

Read Some Of The Latest Posts On Our Noticeboard

Temporary Road Closure - Pentrich Road, Ripley Derbyshire County Council have advised of a road closure at Pentrich Road, Ripley between its junctions with Wood Lane and Mount Pleas read more

Lockdown Advice For Clinically Extremely Vulnerable If you are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable you need to take extra steps to stay safe read more

Derbyshire County Councils Community Response Unit Support is available for Derbyshires most vulnerable during the national lockdown.  read more

Heanor Essentials Market - January 2021 There has been a slight change to our line - up this month on Heanor Market. read more

Community directory for families A new online directory has been developed to provide professionals as well as children, young people and their families the ability to search for a  read more







Amber Valley Local News


Firefighters step up to further assist COVID response Fire and Rescue Service staff across the country will be providing even more su... read more

UK to close all travel corridors from 4am on Monday - what the PM said All travel corridors to the UK will be closed from Monday, the... read more

Mazda MX-30 first drive Letís talk about doors. An unusual place to begin a first impression drive you might think but stick with me.... read more

Here's how long coronavirus immunity lasts - and if it's safe to mix with other people after Covid Evidence shows that people who hav... read more

More news from Amber Valley











Cookies


Find out more about cookies we store on your computer.
Advertising


Find out about advertising on Amber Valley info.
Q R Codes


Find out about and download our QR Codes.
Social Media


Amber Valley Info are on Facebook and Twitter.
Legal Stuff


Read our copy of the sites terms and conditions.