Prateek Sharma in NEW DELHI: If you are in dire need of money and looking for a quick loan. Don’t rely on advertisements that you see on social media websites and the internet offering instant loans. Law enforcement agencies have warned that cyber criminals have floated hundreds of fake loan apps which are involved in fraudulent activities.
A senior official told The420.in that 137 fake loan apps are under RBI’s scanner. A large number of people are becoming victims of cyber fraud and regulatory body and law enforcement agencies have received several complaints against such fraudulent operators mostly based outside India. They are working in India through their local agents.
According to officials, your mobile lending apps may promise you rapid cash, but default once and the system’s ugly face screams at you. Loan collection agents have descended to such lows that they send abusive remarks about the person to his or her personal and professional acquaintances, shaming them.
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In many cases, it was found that one of the milder pejorative terms used is ‘rapist’ in texts sent to all of the borrower’s connections. Foul messages and morphed images were sent to family, friends, colleagues, and all personal contacts.
“We have received many such complaints and are now scanning these service providers. Abusing, morphing, and threatening is a crime and it will be dealt strictly. These apps cannot illegal collect data and further threaten the contacts of their client. During our initial investigation we have found 137 such fake quick loan app and action has been initiated against them,” said Triveni Singh, SP, UP Cyber Crime.
Officials claim that harassment by debt recovery agents employed by these rapid lending apps has even resulted in suicides, as the agents smear the loanees in order to recover the loan. In their last attempt to recover money from loanees, recovery agents have begun extorting money by altering the loan defaulters’ photographers.
In many cases, representatives of lending apps have resorted to morphing defaulters’ images with a tag such as ‘rapist’ or ‘bhikari no 1’ or pronouncing them dead, in addition to using vulgar language.
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These modified photos are being distributed to various people on the loan defaulters’ contact lists and shared on social media, with the request that they repay the money at the request of the loanees.
Officials have also found that these apps are being operated outside the country especially in a country like China. These apps are being controlled using Indian agents who get huge commissions.
Non-registered Chinese loan apps have been under scrutiny in India since 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak.
They had targeted young people who had lost their jobs as a result of the lockdowns.
People in desperate need of cash will take advantage of it because it provides fast approval with no paperwork or other normal hassles.
Google cracked down on such apps and blocked them from the Play store following a stream of complaints, mostly from Telangana, and some reported fatalities as a result of the harassment.
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