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Sep 12 2013

Warning: loan sharks are operating in Harrow

harrow_council_logoWarning: loan sharks are operating in Harrow

  • Harrow Council warns of bullying tactics by illegal lenders
  • Harrow Citizens Advice Bureau opens a face to face service for extra support
  • Emergency Relief Scheme available for those in dire need

Harrow Council is warning residents not to turn to illegal lenders after Harrow Citizens Advice Bureau found out about the bullying tactics of loan sharks in the area.

They include sending threatening texts and voicemails, and waiting outside schools attended by the children of people that they have lent money to. One case in particular highlighted these practices to be reported among the borough’s Tamil community but it is clear that all vulnerable families in need, from whichever community, may be at risk of these sharp and intimidating practices.

The current financial climate, along with the new welfare reforms, are putting pressure on household incomes. In response, Harrow Citizens Advice Bureau (HCAB) is to open face to face drop in sessions from next week to add to the existing telephone and email services, following additional funding by Harrow Council.

Currently 65% of contact with HCAB is related to benefit and debt issues and that number is expected to increase. Harrow Council is warning residents not to use illegal lenders or payday loan companies. Instead, it recommends those in need of funds to first seek advice from HCAB and then, if a loan is essential, to consider joining their local Credit Union – M for Money – a non for profit cooperative which caps interest rates and has a strict criteria for lending money.

Harrow Council also has set up an Emergency Relief Scheme for those on means tested benefits who are in dire need of food or other essentials.

HCAB hours of operation:

Currently those wishing to use the HCAB services can do so by telephone on 020 8427 9477 on:

  • Mondays: 1.30pm – 4pm
  • Tuesdays: 9.45am – 12noon and 1.30pm – 3.30pm
  • Thursdays: 9.45am – 12noon and 1.30pm – 3.30pm

To find out more about Harrow Council’s Emergency Relief Scheme visit www.harrow.gov.uk/emergencyreliefscheme , call 020 84168266 or email emergency@harrow.gov.uk

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1 comment

  1. j p hobbs

    Are we sure its not just Harrow Council or the thieves in the Civic Centre in yet another disguise ?
    It sounds like their M , O .

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