Notts County Council is keen to help people who may be in turmoil at the hands of a loan shark but do not feel able to come forward.
“Fear of reprisals, fear of the unknown and lack of confidence are the reasons people are not getting in touch,” said Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of the community safety committee at the council.
The council hopes its work alongside the England Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) which is hosted at Birmingham City Council can help
Nationally, the highest rate of interest charged by loan sharks found has been 131,000 per cent – but around £63 million of illegal debt has been wiped out and more than 26,000 victims have been helped.
The council’s trading standards, working with the IMLT team, has useful guidance to follow to help people find out if a loved one or friend has been the victim of a loan shark and how to report it.
Victims are likely not to have received any paperwork from the loan shark.
The victim may have had items such bank cards, passports and jewellery taken as security.
Clients are usually found by word of mouth and loan sharks rarely advertise their services.
Victims may also be coerced into committing crime.
People can be confident of IMLT’s effectiveness with its strong track record of success,” continued Coun Gilfoyle.
“We hope this message can give people who might be struggling with this problem the confidence to come forward and to raise awareness of this issue.
“If you need help you can call the hotline 24 hours a day seven days a week on 0300 555 2222, remain anonymous if you wish as all calls are treated in confidence.”