Be scam wise this Christmas

5:09pm - 15 December 2021

Don’t fall prey to loan sharks this festive period.

Families trapped in spiralling debt might turn to loan sharks but this could lead to serious physical, emotional and psychological damage.

Research by the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) found that Christmas is the second highest reason people borrow money from loan sharks, after paying for essentials such as food, rent or mortgage, and utility bills.

The IMLT, which operates as Stop Loan Sharks, works to investigate and prosecute loan sharks, as well as offering emotional and practical support.

Many people are affected by loan sharks every year. Here are some top tips to stay safe this Christmas:

  • check a money lender is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority by checking the register
  • beware of loan adverts with no credit checks - lenders must carry out credit checks to make sure borrowers can afford to pay back their loans
  • never give banking or personal details to anyone you don't know or trust, even if they lure you with attractive offers. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you've been affected by illegal money lending and need support, you can chat to the Stop Loan Sharks support team online or by calling 0300 555 2222.

There is also a Stop Loan Sharks app for Google Play and the Apple app store.