Loan sharks are increasingly using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, to advertise their illegal loans and target potential victims, reports Halton Borough Council Trading Standards.
These criminals will lure people in with seemingly attractive loan offers but will quickly resort to intimidation, threats and violence to enforce repayment and trap borrowers in a spiral of debt.
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Trading Standards, Cllr Dave Cargill, said: “If you suspect someone may be a loan shark or they are acting inappropriately, you can report them anonymously to www.stoploansharks.co.uk or by calling the Stop Loan Sharks Helpline on 0300 555 2222.
“Alternatively, you can email the team firstname.lastname@example.org or access support via live chat on the website Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm.”
The Stop Loan Sharks App is free to download on both iOS and Android devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.
If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline or 0808 223 1133