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LOAN sharks are being targeted in Portsmouth in a bid to stop people being tempted by their illegal services.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team are working with Advice Portsmouth, to highlight the dangers of loan sharks.

Advice Portsmouth is a free advice service run by the You Trust, a charity which supports people to live independently in the community.

Staff there will support any loan shark victims, encouraging them to report the crime.

Jane Henderson, manager of Advice Portsmouth, said: ‘We would recommend people visit us at Advice Portsmouth as an alternative to using loan sharks.’

Alan Cufley, head of service for trading standards at Portsmouth City Council, added: ‘We are very aware of the dangers and trouble that people can find themselves in if they have borrowed money from illegal lenders and want residents to call the hotline to report loan sharks operating in the area where they live.’

Anyone who has used a loan shark is being encouraged to call 0300 555 2222.