TWO people have been arrested for being suspected loan sharks.

A man aged 67 and a woman aged 43 were arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and laundering offences after a warrant was carried out in Pershore.

Electronic devices and paperwork were seized from the Pershore property, and both were helping investigators with their inquiries.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) worked in partnership with officers from West Mercia Police to execute the warrant today (Thursday).

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 up to 1.08 million people are in debt to illegal money lenders in England.

How to spot a loan shark?

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 cannot 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.

Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.