Dangers of Using Illegal Money Lenders Highlighted

The University of Worcester’s Money Advice Service, in partnership with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, is warning people to beware of the dangers of borrowing money from loan sharks.

A week of activities will take place this month, providing information about illegal money lending and who to turn to in times of money trouble.

Activities take place between the 14th and 18th of November and are supported by the England Illegal Money Lending Team. During the event representatives from the University’s Money Advice Service will be on hand to give students and others advice about illegal money lenders, why they must be stopped, how they can be stopped and alternative options for addressing money issues.

Jackie Bryant, Money Advisor at the University, said: “Loan sharks are illegal money lenders which should not be used; they are not always easy to spot as they come in many forms, will at first appear friendly and often part of the community. It is when borrowers can’t pay that they will find themselves threatened.

“If someone is struggling to pay a debt the loan shark will resort to threats, violence and intimidation to get what he thinks is owed, even if the debt has been paid off several times over.

“A loan shark will typically have little paperwork, will add penalty charges for late payments and sometimes add random sums to the bill. They may also take items such as passports and bank cards as security and resort to violence, threats and intimidation.

“Many victims keep paying because they think they can afford the agreed weekly sum, but they don’t realize how much their continuing weekly payments add up to or they are too afraid to stop payments.”

The University of Worcester Money Advice Service provides help and support to students on money management, budgeting, maximizing income and dealing with money issues and the University provides a fund to assist students who are in financial hardship.

If you think you or someone you know may be involved with a loan shark contact the Illegal Money Lending team in confidence on 0300 555 2222, text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 07860022116, or email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

More information can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks

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