An awareness campaign about the dangers of loan sharks, has taken place in
The England Illegal Money Lending Team, which is hosted by
Both events were funded with proceeds of crime money taken from convicted loan sharks.
Representatives from the team, were on hand to offer information and advice on the dangers of loan sharks whilst handing out 'cool tips' leaflets signposting to other local organisations which can help families in difficulty.
In December a grotto was held at front of the Bullring Indoor Market giving families a chance to meet Father Christmas and receive a small gift. The grotto was free to give the opportunity for those on low incomes to take part and parents were encouraged to bring their own camera or mobile phone to take their own pictures.
At both events, families we're encouraged to take part in a treasure hunt competition, testing their knowledge of illegal money lending. The lucky winner was
An estimated 310,000 households across the country are in debt to a loan shark.
Loan sharks usually appear friendly at first but quickly trap their borrowers into spiralling debt. As the debts can't legally be enforced many lenders will resort to the most extreme and callous methods to enforce repayment including threats, violence and intimidation.
Paperwork is rarely offered so victims are often in the dark as to how much they are actually paying. Exorbitant extra amounts and interest are added at random- the highest interest seen by an illegal lender was equivalent to 131,000% APR. In some cases the loan sharks have been known to take items as security including passports, driving licences or even bank or post office cards with the PIN in order to withdraw directly from borrowers' accounts.
"I was over the moon to win, as the iPad will help me look for long term employment. During the event I was able to find out more about the dangers of loan sharks and the great work that the England Illegal Money Lending Team does."
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
For more information contact
To speak to the
Notes to editors
NTSB provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 190 years-worth of custodial sentences. They have written off 42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 people.
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in
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