Loan sharks are lending money illegally. They are not regulated and not authorized to lend money.

A borrower may not know that loan sharks are lending money illegally.

Borrowing from loan sharks is often hidden by people as it is often the option of ‘last resort’ and people can feel embarrassed or ashamed.

Individuals are easily targeted through social media like WhatsApp or Facebook – all very accessible.

If you borrow from a loan shark you haven’t broken the law, the loan shark has.

Loan sharks are often very convincing and friendly but can also be threatening and intimidating.

Advice for clients worried about loan sharks:

  • If you feel threatened by someone who lends them money, advise them to contact the police straight away
  • Citizens Advice can help give clients confidential advice on their options to deal with loan sharks – We can give information about different, regulated ways of borrowing money and dealing with debts especially if you are worried about affording something
  • Adviceline 0808 278 7969 or visit
  • Report a loan shark by calling the confidential
  • Illegal Money Lending Hotline: 0300 555 2222
  • Visit the Money Helper website for more advice