LOW-EARNERS are being urged not to turn to loan sharks this Christmas.

The Bolton Safeguarding Adults Board has launched a campaign to raise awareness among residents about the dangers of falling victim to non-reputable money lenders, scams and rogue traders.

Their message 'The only thing getting ripped off this Christmas, should be the wrapping paper!' is being shared on social media and is aimed at reminding people to make wise choices about their spending at this time of year.

The Board is made up of representatives from partner agencies such as Bolton Council, health organisations, the voluntary and community sector, and Greater Manchester Police.

Its chairman, John Brimley, said: "Christmas is a time for giving. However, for people on low incomes, such as benefits, minimum wage or pension, the need to buy presents for loved ones can be a pressure which tempts them into taking out short-term loans.

"This Christmas we are trying to warn people of the risks of getting loans from disreputable loan firms, or 'loan sharks'. At this time of year in particular they look for opportunities to hook needy people into taking out loans which have extremely high interest rates, and which can push someone into a spiral of debt. We want people to be warned of these dangers."