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Warning against loan sharks


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Monday 15 September 2014 in Hereford Times News:

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), Money Box Credit Union (MBCU) and Newton Farm Community Association (NFCA) are joining forces to warn about the dangers in the run up to Christmas.
Residents will be able to join the local Credit Union and find out about its savings and loans products.
The IMLT have allocated Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) money taken from convicted loan sharks to encourage residents to open accounts.
On the day, a voucher will be made available and the first ten people opening new accounts will get £10 added to their savings.
The event will take place between 10am and 4pm outside WH Smith’s in High Town, Hereford.
Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Through this scheme the extorted cash is being put to excellent use – helping people to save so they aren’t tempted to use a loan shark.
"Illegal money lenders are a scourge on society and cause harm and misery to their victims, but we are continuing to tackle them in Hereford and across the country."
Victims of illegal money lenders can seek help by calling 0300 555 2222.
For updates on the campaign visit facebook.com/stoploansharksproject or follow the IMLT on twitter: @loansharknews


Any advice to keep people out of the clutches of loan sharks is to be commended.
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I quite agree, Megilleland.


On a different, but still money related note, I have concerns about some of the "chuggers" who operate in High Town. Basically, charities employ people to stop folks in the street, and try to convince them to sign up to supporting their cause. Although it can be a tad irritating sometimes to be stopped half a dozen times between Laura Ashley and Boots, I never really thought much about it. I have long supported three charities that are close to my heart - and finances dictate that I can support no more on such a regular basis.


This afternoon, however, I was marching across town during my lunch break, and witnessed an elderly lady being accosted by one of these people. She looked quite confused, and a little perturbed. I hung back, and observed for a few moments.....I was relieved when another lady emerged from Marks and Sparks, (possibly her daughter?) and steered her away.


My concern is that some people will hand over their bank details to anybody with a laminated photo and a clipboard. Should elderly, or any potentially vulnerable group be targeted like this?


Do these folks have to follow any sort of code of conduct?

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I saw an advert on tv the other day that was one of the legal 'pay day' loan type firms ... 4000% APR interest rate ... I dunno what the loan sharks charge ... but obviously a fallout of the 2008 recession and cutbacks .... Foodbanks/loan sharks ... Just the norm it would appear ... As is the cheap tobacco at the usual foreign shops ... 

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