GALLERY: Week-long campaign launched against loan sharks
- Credit: Archant
A WEEK-LONG campaign against loan sharks who trap borrowers into spiralling debt began today with a symbolic signing of a charter at Fenland Hall.
Representatives of Fenland District Council, Roddons, the police and other agencies signed the Anti Loan Shark Agreement, which tackles the issue of illegal money lending in the March area.
A series of events have been organised where residents will have the chance to speak confidentially to an expert if they feel they have fallen victim to a loan shark.
Sid the Shark, the campaign mascot, will be handing out leaflets outside Cavalry and Burrowmoor primary schools during the week and on Wednesday he and the team will be in the Market Square.
Advice will also be available on the New Horizons bus when it is parked outside the Co-op, Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Tesco throughout the week.
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Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “Loan sharks and illegal money lenders prey on the most vulnerable people in our society and I would certainly support anything which makes people aware of their activities and stops them operating in our communities.”
An estimated 310,000 households across the country are in debt to a loan shark.
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As the debts can’t legally be enforced many lenders will resort to threats, violence and intimidation to enforce repayment.
Exorbitant extra amounts and interest are added at random - the highest interest seen by an illegal lender was equivalent to 131,000 per cent APR.
If you are a victim of a loan shark, or know someone who might be, you can call 0300 555 2222 in strict confidence.
For more details on the campaign, visit http://facebook.com/StopLoanSharksProject