A NEW campaign against loan sharks who cash in on Christmas has been launched in North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire County Council’s trading standards officers, in partnership with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, want to tackle sharks who cause misery for people trapped into paying over the odds for loans they cannot afford.
Through enforcement action, awareness raising and education, they want to encourage people to celebrate the festive season without turning to an illegal money lender.
“What may seem like a small loan to tide people over for Christmas, could end up costing them well into the New Year and beyond,” said a spokesman.
Coun Chris Metcalfe, executive member for Trading Standards, said loan sharks rarely offered paperwork and were unclear on the terms of the loan, so borrowers were completely in the dark as to how much they were actually paying.
“Extra amounts and interest payments are added completely at random, so the debt spirals to be never-ending.”
The campaign was launched at an event in Selby, attended by representatives of organisations such as Citiziens Advice Bureaux and community groups.
• To report a loan shark, phone the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 or text “loan shark” and your message to 60003.