Don't be bitten by a loan shark!
Have you or anyone you know:
- Been offered a cash loan without paperwork?
- Been threatened when you couldn't pay?
- Had your bank card taken by the person who loaned you the money?
- Had a loan which keeps growing no matter how much you are paying back?
If you can answer yes to any of the above you may have been bitten by a loan shark.
For confidential help contact ring 0300 555 2222 (local rate) or email: report a loan shark
Stop loan sharks - Talking newspaper
The real life story below is told by a victim of one loan shark.
There’s this man I know called Arnie. I’ve known him since 2002. I knew him from around the area – got to know him through a friend. He always used to say to me “when are you going to go out with me” he used to say it openly in front of my friends. I just used to say “you’re crazy” and laugh it off.
My personal circumstances changed – I was really struggling for cash. I’d just lost my job and had started to sign on. I was round my friend’s house and Arnie was there. He said to me “are you ready for a loan yet?” I was feeling really low about losing my job and wanted to cheer myself up so I said yes. I had a loan for £300. Arnie said I’d have to pay him back £20 a week – a total of £680 altogether. He gave me the money there and then. He had a clear plastic wallet with a zipper on the top and inside he kept his cash and a black book.
The black book was like a Filofax and inside he kept the names and addresses of all the people who owed him money. I had no problem making the first four payments but then I had to go away for a few weeks; I was having a really difficult time – which Arnie knew about. Anyway, when I came back he’s added an extra £300 to my total. I said that was unfair but he said he didn’t care and I’d have to pay.
What I did was, I went to family members and got £700, saw Arnie and gave him the cash. He counted it and I said “That’s it – you and me are done now.”
I didn’t see Arnie for a while – not until the incident that happened in the January. I was round my friend’s house and Arnie came round. He said that I still owed him money. I was just like “no I don’t think so” and I thought Arnie was alright about it – initially he was laughing and joking about it because he thought I was joking. But when I got serious and said I’d paid him all the money I owed, Arnie got serious and said I had to pay for my ex-boyfriends loan as well.
I said “no way, I’m not paying that.” That was when Arnie changed. He had his sunglasses pushed down on his nose and I could see his eyes. His eyes went wide and in a deep serious voice he said “get your gold off.” He grabbed me round the throat and lifted me off the sofa. He lifted me up so I was eye to eye with him. I was panicking because I couldn’t breathe. He started to squeeze harder and harder. I could see my friend behind start to punch out at him. I was trying to kick him; I didn’t know what he was going to do next.
He threw me across the room against the corner unit and I hit my left side. I could hear my friend on the phone saying “police, police.” Arnie was walking towards me and when he heard my friend he walked over to her and ripped the phone out of the wall. He left and the police came and I gave a statement. I was taken to City Hospital and it was found that I had cracked rib on my left side.
Since that incident I don’t go back to that area. I don’t visit my friends. He said to my friend that if I don’t drop the charges, he will drop me off a cliff. I believe that he will find me and he’ll hurt me. He also said that it might be 5, it might be ten or it might be 15 years but he will find me and he will scar me.
He told my friend that he knew my new address so I moved a few days later into private rented accommodation – I’m really struggling to pay the rent but I don’t care. If I see a car like his go past I worry. He really has affected my life.
Arnie got 4 years in prison but committed suicide whilst incarcerated.