By Daniel Hunter

The charity Citizens Advice have said that customers complaining about payday loan lenders have grounds to do so.

Citizens Advice said it saw 665 cases, of which 76% could have been forwarded to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

These included cases of individuals being chased for a loan they had not taken out, it said.

"The level of debt and hardship caused by some payday loans is absolutely scandalous and people often feel completely powerless to do anything about it," said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice analysed a series of payday loan cases, which were reported to its customer helpline in the first half of the year.

It found potential cases of fraud, such as being chased for non-existent loans. Others were "pestered" with phone calls and text messages, despite offers of repayments plans from customers.

Some in financial difficulty were treated unfairly, according to the charity, and so could have taken a complaint to the ombudsman.

The Financial Ombudsman Service could investigate cases and make a ruling.

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