Illegal money lending

The Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU) targets illegal money lenders, more commonly known as loan sharks. The unit looks into illegal lending and any related crimes as well as supporting victims. The perpetrators range from small time loan sharks to violent and organized criminals.

Illegal lending (loan sharking) is a criminal offence. Illegal money lenders operate without a license, often targeting vulnerable people.

  • Most loan sharks start out friendly, but their behaviour changes when payments are missed.
  • Few loan sharks advertise, and are often heard of by word of mouth.
  • Most loan sharks offer little or no paperwork
  • Quite often take cash cards/post office cards and pin numbers as collateral for loans.

To report a loan shark, please contact the WIMLU. The Unit operates a 24 hour hotline on 0300 123 3311 or email

Unusual suspects

Check out ‘Unusual Suspects’, a short film by Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Supporting People Team to raise awareness of illegal money lending from loan sharks.

Related Pages

Credit Unions

Elsewhere on the web

Illegal Money Lending Unit