Two people have been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending following an operation in Worcestershire.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from West Mercia Police to execute a warrant at an address in the Pershore area on Thursday, December 7.
Officers seized electronic devices and paperwork and the suspects, a man aged 67 and a woman aged 43, were taken into custody and are helping investigators with their inquiries.
The IMLT works in partnership with Worcestershire Trading Standards Service to investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders.
Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “We will not tolerate illegal money lending and we work with our partners across the country to stamp out this crime and protect our communities.
“If you think you or someone you know has been targeted by an illegal lender, get in touch with our team in confidence. They can offer you expert support and advice on what to do next.”
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) estimates that there are up to 1.08 million people in debt to illegal money lenders in England.
The warning signs that someone might be an illegal lender include being offered no paperwork, being asked to hand over items like bank cards or a passport, being charged large amounts of interest and being threatened or bullied when you can’t pay.
Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.