Beware of loan sharks!

Beware of loan sharks!

Loan sharks are illegal lenders who often charge very high rates of interest. More often than not, borrowing money from a loan shark will cost you an arm and a leg – as well as causing a significant amount of distress if you are unable to pay them back.

You may have been bitten by a loan shark if you have experienced any of the following:

  • You have been offered a cash loan without any paperwork
  • You have been threatened when you couldn’t pay back a loan
  • You have had your benefit, bank card or passport taken from you
  • You have a loan which keeps growing even though you are making payments


The National Illegal Money Lending Team is dedicated to tackling loan sharks. If you spot a loan shark or you've borrowed money from one you can report them anonymously:

If you want to check whether a lender is legal and registered, you can search the Financial Services Register for companies and individuals authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For confidential help and advice contact the Illegal Money Lending Team on 0300 555 2222.