Loan sharks preying on lonely singles looking for love – Evesham Journal
LOAN sharks are preying on people looking for love online according to the England Illegal Money Lending Team. (IMLT)
These criminals are setting up online dating profiles to lure victims into fake romance relationships and quickly trapping them in a dangerous cycle of debt.
One victim was tricked into taking out a loan after telling her new love interest about her financial problems. She initially borrowed £3,000 but her debt soon spiralled out of control. The loan shark demanded £10,000 and sexual favours to pay off her debt.
In other cases, victims have been blackmailed by loan sharks threatening to download and share private photographs if they fail to pay their debts.
The IMLT has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks on dating sites and help prevent people from becoming victims of illegal money lending.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “It’s disgraceful that loan sharks are preying on innocent people looking for love online. These crooks strike up relationships with people online to earn their trust and when they have them hooked, they trick them into taking out loans and demand much more in return. This often leads to blackmail and threats of violence if borrowers get behind with repayments.
“This is a devastating crime that impacts victims both financially and emotionally. We urge people to get in touch if they have been affected by