The Illegal Money Lending Team, part of Trading Standards, have reported that thee are potentially people lending money illegally – known as ‘loan sharks’ – within the Cannock Chase Area, and are asking local people to get in touch if they feel they may have been a victim.
Loan sharks prey on vulnerable people who may not be able to access to money or credit elsewhere, or want a quick ‘easy’ cash loan. People who may be desperate, be in serious debt and behind with priority debts, are tempted by additional money for luxuries or one off expenses, may have poor
credit or even be teenagers/children.
It’s likely the loan shark lives locally and will have a client base of hundreds of clients, and will usually be well known within the community as they rely on business through word of mouth/ recommendation. They may even be a friend who may be ‘doing you a favour’. However the loan shark’s only interest is in their own greed and they will quickly go from being a ‘friend’ to relying on aggression, violence, intimidation, blackmail and extortion to get their money back, and they don’t care how you pay them or whether you can even afford to. They will keep on adding massive interest and charges meaning you will be unable to repay the loan in full, and they will keep coming back.
In one prosecution by the illegal money lending team, one lady who originally borrowed £500, ended up paying back an enormous £88,000 before her loan shark was eventually brought to justice.
If you are worried you might be or have been the victim of a loan shark, you can call the Illegal Money Lending Team anonymously and in complete confidence. They can also provide ongoing effective support and assistance to those affected. You can also see debt advice from your local
Citizens Advice Bureau (The Chase CAB) or Cannock Chase District Council.