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Stop Loan Sharks Wales

 

"I didn't have enough, I couldn't eat properly, couldn't clothe my children properly. If I couldn't pay, they threatened to beat me up in front of my children”

 (Single Mother Swansea)

The Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU) targets illegal money lenders, more commonly known as loan sharks.

We work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities, they are one of three national teams (Wales, England and Scotland) and are funded by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

The team investigates illegal lending and any related crimes, as well as supporting the victims of loan sharks. Loan sharks can be small time lenders who take advantage of friends or family, but sometimes they are violent and organised criminals.

The team is made up of specialist investigators and victim support officers; our priority is the safety and welfare of victims. Illegal lending (loan sharking) is a criminal offence. Illegal money lenders operate without legal authority, and often target vulnerable people.

What is a Loan Shark?

A loan shark is anybody who is lending money without the required legal authority, and is charging interest on top of the loan (in other words, they are lending money and are expecting individuals to pay back more than they borrowed.)

Loan Sharks operate in many different ways. One of the most common types of illegal lending we have investigated is where a lender takes advantage of his/her friends and family by lending money and then demanding repayments. Other types of lenders we have investigated have included rogue landlords, rogue employers, pub bouncers lending to customers, lending among work colleagues, and even lending among members of a church group.

Things to look out for:

Most loan sharks start out friendly, but their behaviour changes when payments are missedFew loan sharks advertise, and are often heard of by word of mouthMost loan sharks offer little or no paperworkQuite often take cash cards/post office cards and pin numbers as collateral for loans

 

  • Most loan sharks start out friendly, but their behaviour changes when payments are missed.
  • Few loan sharks advertise, and are often heard of by word of mouth.
  • Most loan sharks offer little or no paperwork
  • Quite often take cash cards/post office cards and pin numbers as collateral for loans.

 

To report a loan shark, please contact us using the details below:

The Unit operates a 24 hour hotline on:

0300 123 3311

Email: imlu@cardiff.gov.uk

?  Absolutely anyone can phone in with Loan Shark information – a victim, advice worker, local resident, police officer, neighbour...

?  Any information provided would be in the strictest of confidence and will not be used in the Courts, not used in courts

?  Callers don’t have to give their name and can remain anonymous.

For further information on the Wales Illegal Money Lending team can be found here.