BICESTER, England, January 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Short-term lender PaydayUK is warning customers against applying for loans with unlicensed payday loan websites. As a responsible lender PaydayUK is urging all potential payday loan customers to be careful when applying for a loan online and to avoid the large number of illegal sites that offer short-term loans. As explained in this story from the Independent, if you search for 'Payday Loans' in Google a large proportion of the sites which you are directed to may be operating illegally and should be avoided. Before you enter your bank details into any site you should check they are secure and a legitimate outfit. You can tell if a web page is secure by looking out for an 'S' after the HTTP in the website address. Otherwise you have no idea who you are giving your information to. If you cannot see HTTPS on a web page address then you should avoid entering your bank details. The clearest indicator as to the validity of a site is to search for that site's Consumer Credit Licence number, a six digit number, which should be displayed somewhere obvious - normally in the footer at the bottom of the homepage. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 businesses that lend money must have a Consumer Credit Licence and trading without one is a criminal offence. If you cannot find a Consumer Credit Licence number then you should not apply for a loan with that company as there is no telling who they are and what they will do with your details. Any companies operating without Consumer Credit Licences are unregulated and you are not protected in any way. When you have found a site's Consumer Credit Licence number you should make sure it is valid, which can be done by searching the registry at the OFT website. If you can find the licence in the register ensure the website address is one of the registered trading names. If the website is not a registered trading name there is no proving that the site is covered by that Consumer Credit Licence.