Homes Plus is supporting a national campaign to make people aware of the dangers of loan sharks and highlight the support that is available.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) has been running their national Stop Loan Sharks Week campaign.
The campaign aims to highlight the help available to those who have been targeted by loan sharks, as well as increase the awareness of this hidden crime.
This year’s theme is ‘People pretending to be something they are not’. IMLT picked this theme as 56 per cent of the people they have supported over the past year believed the illegal lender was their friend when they took out the loan. They want to encourage people to question if this is the case.
They have also heard of lenders pretending to be associated with legal lenders that have closed and want to highlight that there are places people can go to check.
Housing Plus group’s Employment & Money Advice Manager, Sue Sanders, said: “With the rising cost of living, many people are unfortunately going through difficult and worrying times right now.
“However bad your financial situation is, borrowing money from a loan shark is not the answer. They prey on the most vulnerable people in our society and will use deceptive tactics to trap them in a cycle of debt and fear.
“If you have had to borrow money from a loan shark, you shouldn’t in any way feel embarrassed or ashamed.
"The safety of our communities depends on victims coming forward and reporting loan sharks to the authorities."
For more information visit www.stoploansharks.co.uk