Residents across the Dover district are being warned not to be tempted in to borrowing money from loan sharks.
Trading Standards Officers are concerned that consumers struggling with debts or regular outgoings may be tempted to approach a loan shark when there are safe and legal avenues they can explore to deal with their money problems.
A loan shark is someone who lends money illegally. They are unlicensed moneylenders who charge very high interest rates, rarely, if ever, give any paperwork and if payments are missed often use intimidation and violence to get money from their clients.
They may also pressurise people into borrowing more from them to repay one debt with another.
There is help available. If you, or someone you know owes money to a loan shark, or you have been approached by a loan shark, you can speak to the Illegal Money Lending Team in total confidence.
The Illegal Money Lending Team is a Trading Standard's project which prosecutes loan sharks and helps victims.
The team urges the public to report any information about loan sharks to 0300 555 2222.