"At first I thought it was bullying, but they were always the ones making the money. It was exploitation and I wish I realised sooner."

Predatory characters will target people who are down on their luck and try to exploit them. People who have recently become homeless are particularly vulnerable.

You should seek free, reliable and confidential help if you or someone you know has:

  • Been given drugs or alcohol as ‘payment’ for doing what someone else says 
  • Received a gift you are later asked to pay back through money or favours 
  • Been asked to pay back a debt with favours or uncontracted work 
  • Received threats or violence for not doing what someone asks you to do 
  • Been emotionally guilt-tripped into making money for someone who has previously helped you in a crisis  
  • Been forced to withdraw benefits for someone else 
  • Paid a cut of your Universal Credit into someone else’s account  
  • Had private photos used as a form of blackmail 
  • Been pressured to do what another person asks 

Pressure can take many forms. Someone might ask you to:

Support available

If you're struggling financially, emotionally or mentally, know that there is always free, confidential support available. Not only can you get help developing new skills and confidence, you can work to address your problems and get things back on track.

The Brick

The Brick offers services to people who are homeless, in poverty or facing debt crisis. As its name suggests, it provides a safe, solid building block for people in crisis to begin to construct a new life and become valuable members of society.  For help and support contact The Brick using the details below.

If you think you, or someone you know, is experiencing exploitation, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In an emergency, dial 999.