Don’t fall victim to a loan shark this Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day loan sharks are preying on people looking for love online.

These criminals are setting up online dating profiles to lure victims into fake romance relationships and quickly trapping them in a dangerous cycle of debt.

Looking for love online? Make sure you don’t fall into a loan shark trap by following these important tips:

  • Don’t accept friend requests or offers for loans from people you don’t know on dating apps and social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.
  • Never give too many details away about your personal life online. This makes it easy for criminals to track down where you live and puts you and your personal data in jeopardy.
  • Never give your bank details, send money to, or receive cash from someone you have only met online.
  • Try to use trusted dating sites for all messaging. Loan sharks will often try to move their activity off reputable sites as soon as possible.
  • If you have concerns that your potential date may be a loan shark, don’t hesitate to shut down communication immediately.

What to do if you have fallen victim to a loan shark online

  • Stop communicating with the person immediately.
  • Check the person is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to lend money, search the register at
  • If you think you have borrowed from a loan shark, report the lender and notify the website or app where you met the lender too.

Anyone who believes they might be the victim of a loan shark can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email or complete an online report form. Live Chat is available on the website 9am-5pm weekdays.