Criminal lenders are sneaking into events for people struggling with their finances, a support agency has revealed.
Lynne Johnson, director at Skills Max, runs debt counselling events in Hertfordshire. She told Quids in! they discovered lenders were attending under false pretences. “All of them there were women but not all were there for the same reasons. They told other women the Job Centre had sent them along but they had someone who sorted them out. They could put them in touch.
“We followed up with a call and found people had been offered money. We asked to see the paperwork and found they were from loan sharks.”
Loan sharks are not easy to spot but it is illegal to lend money without a licence. Victims have found interest payments rocket and have been threatened with violence. It has led to suicide for some.
In 2017, Quids in! reported on Carol who had £1,000 a month taken off her by a loan shark, leaving her unable to afford food. Informal loans are not enforceable. Anyone who thinks they may a victim of a loan shark should contact 0300 555 2222 (England) or 0300 123 3311 (Wales). All calls handled in strict confidence.