27

Oct

Suspected loan shark arrested in Liverpool

A 35-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering offences in Liverpool. The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Liverpool City Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police executed a warrant at an address in Fazakerley on Tuesday, October 26 2021. Officers seized documentation and electronic devices during a search of the property. The suspect remains in police custody for questioning.

Residents are being advised to watch out for warning signs of loan sharks and report them if they are approached by one. A loan shark may:

  • Give little or no paperwork
  • Avoid telling the interest rate or how much is still owed
  • Add random charges or keep increasing the amount
  • Take items as security, such as passports, bank cards or driving licences
  • Refuse to allow you to settle your debt
  • Resort to intimidation, threats or violence.

The IMLT recently launched an interactive film with Liverpool-based Perception Theatre warning young people about the online dangers of loan sharks. During the pandemic, some loan sharks moved their activities online, using social media platforms to prey on those who are most vulnerable. The interactive film ‘SHARK’ puts viewers in the shoes of the main character Liam, allowing them to make choices on his behalf and decide what happens next after he is introduced to a loan shark on Snapchat. The scenarios presented in the film are designed to highlight the risks faced by young people on social media and the consequences that can occur when borrowing from illegal money lenders. The situations are based on real-life experiences of victims of loan sharks.

You can watch SHARK online.

Anyone with concerns about loan sharks can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24 Hour Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access support online. Live chat is available on the website between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

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