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OFT targets money lenders

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has today begun a UK wide campaign to warn consumers of the illegal activities of some money lenders. Upwards of 200,000 leaflets and posters will be distributed across England, Scotland and Wales detailing the problems associated with illegal money lenders and the extortionate charges which customers may incur.

With an estimated 165,000 UK households dependent in some way upon illegal money lenders much is being made of the potential threats for those who fall behind with their payments. The major concern regarding illegal money lenders is the fact that the vast majority of these 165,000 households in the UK are from some of the most deprived areas of the country. These are families who have little or no hope of fully paying back the money they loaned leaving more and more of their monthly income going towards interest payments and additional charges.

Very often those who are forced to look towards money lenders are too ashamed or afraid to talk openly about their experiences. It is only over the last decade that we have seen any sustained activity by the UK government in tackling this growing problem. Hopefully the issue of 200,000 leaflets will help to make UK families aware of the potential risks they are taking!

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