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VIDEO: Loan Sharks Warning

A South Wales man who suffered at the hands of loan sharks hopes his story will make other people think twice.

The Tai Tarian tenant's story features in a NEW video filmed on Aberavon beach and is voiced by an actor.

It focuses on the misery, stress and dangers borrowing money illegally can cause people and the downward spiral that can follow.

Alex Jenkins, Tai Tarian's Tenant Empowerment Assistant said: "Illegal money lending or being a loan shark is a criminal offence.  As our film shows, lenders target vulnerable people, offering to help solve their financial problems.
 
"However, this help often turns to intimidation and threats of violence when re-payments are missed.  This can lead to borrowers fearing for their safety and scared to leave their house.  It can be an awful experience for anyone and can have a negative impact on their health and well-being.

"We hope that this film can help highlight the dangers of borrowing money in this way and to let people know what help there is for anyone who is experiencing similar issues."

There are thought to be over 310,000 loan shark victims across the UK, with many of these likely to be living in social housing.  Any Tai Tarian tenant who has become a victim of illegal money lending is urged to contact them for help and advice.  

Financial Inclusion Team Leader at Tai Tarian, Nerys Rees said: "Illegal money lending is a serious issue and our team is ready to help tenants who've been affected.  We can help them manage their money and keep control of their finances.  We can assist with budgeting and help tenants to claim any benefits they may be entitled to.  By working together we can help them find a way out and ensure they don't become a victim again in the future.

"Tenants who need our help can contact us on 01639 506623 or email financialinclusion@taitarian.co.uk."
 
Anyone who is a loan shark victim, or thinks there may be a loan shark operating in their area can contact the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit on their 24 hour hotline - 0300 123 3311.  All calls are completely confidential.  Borrowing from a loan shark is not an offence and no action will be taken against any individual who has been lent money in this way. 

The film is the latest element of a joint campaign between Tai Tarian and Coastal Housing.  It aims to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal money lending and has also included leaflet distribution and a Money Saving Matters awareness event that was held last November.  The campaign has been financed by a grant from the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit.

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