Instant digital loan apps become easy trap for cheating, harassment

A man from Coimbatore recently downloaded an instant loan app after he faced financial emergency.

The formalities were easy and the app did not ask for any surety. He availed himself of a loan of about ₹5,000, for which around ₹ 3,000 was credited to his account after deductions. Though the man repaid the amount, he continued to get calls on behalf of the app demanding further payments.

When he refused to pay, the caller threatened him of circulating his morphed photo with those in his phone’s contact list. The man approached the Cyber Crime station of Coimbatore District (Rural) Police, only to find that he was not the lone victim.

Another victim, a woman, availed a small loan from a micro-credit app from which she was redirected to many similar digital instant loan apps. The woman availed of a loan of ₹ 1 lakh in total and approached the Cyber Crime police after getting threat calls.

In the latest case, a man from Coimbatore installed one of the instant loan apps and submitted certain details for a micro loan. Though he did not apply for the loan, he started getting calls for repayment. When he ignored such calls, he received a morphed picture of him and his wife, which the caller threatened to circulate to all the contacts in the mobile phone.

“We have received around 10 complaints related to cheating, threats and harassment after availing of loans from some of the fraudulent digital loan apps. In the hurry to source money, those who install them do not read the permissions that are asked. These apps access details in mobile phones including contacts and photos, which are later misused,” said S. Jayadevi, Inspector of Cyber Crime station, Coimbatore District.

According to her, many youngsters were becoming victims of cheating by fraudulent micro-credit apps.

“The main factor that lures people into these apps is easy processing of loans without any surety. Details such as copies of Aadhaar card, voters ID and Pan Card submitted while loan processing can be misused. Most importantly, contacts and photos stored in victims’ mobile phones were found misused,” she said.

The toll free helpline 1930 can be used to report cyber financial fraud to freeze fraudulent transactions. 

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2022 7:10:03 pm |