Council warn residents to be on guard against loan sharks
Northumberland County Council is urging residents to be on guard when borrowing money or being offered credit.
The Housing and Public Protection’s Trading Standards team have received reports of a business putting flyers through residents doors offering loans which could result in paying back three times the amount borrowed. This is often the approach of a loan shark with easy credit who targets those with a poor credit rating who may already be struggling to meet living costs.
Certain types of lender can trap borrowers into huge debt by charging high rates of interest and extra charges. Tactics often include intimidation, threats and even violence to enforce repayment.
Some scammers will request early payments before the money will be released.
If residents require loans they are advised to contact credit unions.
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Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet member for Planning, Housing and Resilience, said: “I would always advise residents to be very careful who they seek a loan from and encourage people to use credit unions, such as the Northumberland Community Bank.”
Philip Soderquest, Head of Housing and Public Protection, said: “Residents need to be aware that loan sharks are unscrupulous individuals, taking advantage of people in desperate situations and trapping them in a cycle of debt and misery.
“We want people to know help is available from the England Illegal Money Lending Team who can investigate loan sharks and provide support.”
Victims of a loan shark can contact the Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or stoploansharks.co.uk.