Loan sharks are money lenders who operate outside the law. They often use threats and violence to obtain extortionate payments from their victims. More than 1,500 families are affected by loan sharks in the East of England every year.
If you have borrowed money from a loan shark, you can contact Trading Standards in confidence for help and advice.
The team works with people like the police, voluntary agencies and debt advice agencies to provide support to anyone who needs it. The team also investigate and prosecute loan sharks.
Visit the Citizens Advice website for information about money issues, including how to deal with debt problems and how to get your finances into shape.
If you need to borrow money to cover unplanned bills for essential items, think about using a credit union. The interest charges of a credit union usually work out less than many other sources of credit.