A growing number of loan sharks are looking to target vulnerable debtors by luring them in with promises of free financial advice, according to reports.
The Bankruptcy Advisory Service (BAS) has stated that about ten more advice sharks are emerging every week.
"A lot are internet based and claim to offer people help with their money worries, when in fact they are pushing them into inappropriate and expensive debt solutions," Joanne McGillan, BAS spokesperson, told the Guardian.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service has also witnessed a significant increase in numbers, with some companies targeting customers on individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs).
Consumers are informed that they may have been mis-sold the IVA and are advised that they should instead file for bankruptcy, with the shark taking an inflated fee.
Other scammers are targeting consumers by phone using automated dialing techniques in an effort to track down debtors.
Recent figures from the Ministry of Justice have identified a sharp rise in the number of people filing for bankruptcy in the UK.