Skip to content Skip to footer

Stop Loan Sharks Week 30th November 2020

This week sees the start of #SharkFreeSurfing, a new campaign launched by England’s Illegal Money Lending Team. It is aimed at tackling illegal money lending on the internet and warning
of the dangers of online loan sharks.

The campaign comes amid concerns more people are falling prey to
unscrupulous lenders online as statistics show one in five victims met their
lender on social media in the first half of 2020.

Learn how to protect yourself and others, using these helpful tips:

  • Know who you’re dealing with. If you’ve only ever met someone online or are
    unsure of the legitimacy of a lender, take some time to do a bit more research.
    Check the lender is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If not,
    don’t borrow from them – report to the Stop Loan Sharks team.
  • Beware of loan adverts with no credit checks. Loan sharks have been
    known to advertise in community groups and on local selling pages. They may
    seem friendly and accommodating, but their behaviour can quickly change, and
    you might be harassed or threatened if you get behind with your repayments.
  • Lenders must carry out credit checks to make sure borrowers can afford to pay
    back their loans. You should never hand over your bank details to strangers,
    even if they lure you with attractive offers. Remember, if it looks too good to be
    true, it probably is.
  • Beware of any requests for your details or money. Loan sharks may ask for
    copies of your passport or pictures of your house, the street and your house
    number. Never send money or give card details, online account details or
    copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust.

If you suspect someone may be a loan shark or they are acting inappropriately,
you can report them anonymously to or by calling
the Stop Loan Sharks Helpline on 0300 555 2222. Alternatively, you can email the team
or access support via live chat on the website Monday to Friday between 9am-

The Stop Loan Sharks App is free to download on both iOS and Android
devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.