New Loan Shark App

Alert message sent 25/09/2020 07:58:00

Information sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary


New 'Stop Loan Sharks' App Launches
Good news, the National Illegal Money Lending Team has launched a new app called 'Stop Loan Sharks', which can be downloaded for free on the App Store and Google Play.
 
The app is aimed at anyone who may be a victim of illegal money lending, or concerned about someone they know, whether friends, family or neighbours.  The app provides useful information on how to recognise the signs of illegal money lending and how to report it.  It includes a contact form and phone number to report loan sharks, as well as information to help victims of illegal money lending to get support - including a search tool to help users find credit unions and legitimate lenders, and importantly links to confidential debt advice services.   The free app also highlights the tell-tale signs that someone is dealing with a loan shark, including cash loans without paperwork, extortionate interest, use of benefits or bank cards as security and threatening behaviour or violence to get money.
The app featuring animation designed by Halton Borough Council’s Trading Standards Officers, aims to simplify reporting of illegal lenders and funded by the loan sharks themselves - via assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act! 
The launch of the Stop Loan Sharks app came after the latest IMLT data revealed an increase in online reports during the first half of 2020.
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Trading Standards, Cllr Dave Cargill, said: “Loan sharks have a detrimental impact financially, physically and emotionally on those who borrow from them, so it’s important we work together to stamp out this callous crime and ensure victims are given the support they need.”
Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said “We are pleased to launch our new smartphone app and give victims of illegal money lending additional ways in which to access specialist practical and emotional support quickly, easily, discreetly, and safely.
“We know from research it takes on average three years for a victim to come forward for help after borrowing from a loan shark. Using technology will improve a victim’s access to support services at the touch of a button and make it easier for people to report incidents and find legitimate lenders.”
Anyone needing support can get in touch via the Stop Loan Sharks app or by calling the 24-hour helpline on 0300 555 2222 to speak to a trained officer.
For more information, go to www.stoploansharks.co.uk, where Live Chat is also available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
 
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of Halton Trading Standards 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.
 
Message sent by
Paul Mines (Police, Community Support Officer, Widnes PCSO)

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