The England Illegal Money Lending Team and Rotherham Council have launched a campaign to encourage people to turn away from loan sharks.
The team was on hand at Rotherham Bus Station offering advice on how to avoid loan sharks, and handing out merchandise branded with 0300 555 2222 - the hotline number for reporting illegal money lending.
An estimated 310,000 households across the country are in debt to a loan shark.
They often appear friendly at first but quickly trap borrowers into spiralling debt. As the debts can’t legally be enforced many lenders resort to threats, violence and intimidation.
Coun Rose McNeely, Cabinet member for safe and attractive neighbourhoods, said: “It is vitally important that in these difficult economic times that people do not turn to loan sharks and illegal money lenders.”
“Those who target vulnerable people in our communities in this way are criminals. Whatever situation you are in financially, help, advice and support is available.”
To report a loan shark call the confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, text loan shark and your message to 60003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org