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Loan Shark Attack!

Loan Shark Attack!

To raise awareness of Loan Sharks, Citizens Advice Dacorum are running a shark themed trail of post box toppers at 8 locations in Hemel Hempstead with the help of Hemel Yarn bombers. The event is called Loan Shark Attack! and runs from Sunday, 7th to Friday, 12th August 2022.
The trail is a fun activity for the children and when you complete the trail, you can visit Citizens Advice Dacorum for a lolly and balloon (Monday to Friday 9.30am until 1pm)

What is a loan shark?

A money lender has to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to lend money legally. Money lenders who aren’t authorised by the FCA are breaking the law. They are known as loan sharks.

  • Loan sharks often work from home, charge very high rates of interest and don’t give you much paperwork to confirm the arrangements they’ve made with you.
  • Loan sharks usually have lots of customers and lend money like a business, but their lending is illegal.
  • Loan sharks often take other illegal action to collect the money they’ve lent you, such as threatening violence or taking away your credit cards or valuables. In extreme cases, they’ve been known to force non-payers into prostitution and drug dealing.

Checking a lender is authorised

If you borrowed money from someone who isn’t FCA authorised, you haven’t broken the law, they have.
You can find out whether a money lender is authorised by checking the register on the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk.

Borrowing from friends or family

Not all lending needs to be authorised by the FCA – for example, informal, one-off loans between friends or family aren’t against the law. If you’re not sure if a loan needs to be authorised by the FCA, get help from Citizens Advice Dacorum by calling Adviceline on 0800 144 88 48, or using our email service that can be accessed here.


Even if a loan is informal, anyone who lends you money can’t do anything illegal when they collect it, such as harassing you.

Links to further information

For further Information and how to seek advice see loan sharks (will take you to our national website for more detailed information)