0300 303 7333

Advice about loan sharks

Have you or anyone you know

  • Been offered a cash loan without paperwork?
  • Been threatened when you couldn't pay?
  • Had your benefit or bank card taken from you?
  • Had a loan which keeps growing even though you are making payments?

If you can answer yes to the above you may have been bitten by a loan shark. For confidential help and advice contact the government's Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) using the details below:

Phone: the 24/7 hour confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 (local call rate, including inclusive minutes from mobiles)
Email: reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk
Text: loan (space) shark (space) + your message to 60003
Visit: www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks


The England IMLT works in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities across the country to investigate and prosecute illegal lending and any related activity. As loan sharks operate illegally, their debts aren't enforceable in law so they can only resort to other methods to reclaim monies. Typically loan sharks:

  • Start out being friendly - they are often heard of through friends. It is only when repayments are missed that their behaviour changes
  • Offer little or no paperwork
  • Increase the debt or add additional amounts
  • Refuse to tell the borrower the interest rate, how much they still owe or how long they will be paying back
  • Take items as security - this may include passports, bank cards or driving licences.
  • Resort to intimidation, threats or violence.

Don’t suffer in silence if you’re being affected by a loan shark – contact the Illegal Money Lending Team today.