Kozhikode

Illegal money lending thrives in Kozhikode

Despite rising instances of fake online credit schemes and loss of money, not many complaints have reached the police for a comprehensive probe.  

Despite rising instances of fake online credit schemes and loss of money, not many complaints have reached the police for a comprehensive probe.

Since a majority of borrowers are reportedly those who obtained loans below ₹5,000 as one-time instalment, they tend to keep their details confidential fearing legal complications.

Though a State-level team may be formed to probe illegal online money lending schemes and the charging of exorbitant interest rates violating RBI regulations, the victims are yet to hand over any incriminating evidence to the police. Meanwhile, the government is considering a probe to expose Kerala-based executives assisting illegal credit schemes.

A preliminary probe found that mostly social media users from poor families fell prey to such schemes. Many of them had even installed a fraudulent android application, providing their complete details and identity proofs for processing loans. Though loans were instantly credited to their accounts, the high interest rates drove them into distress.

“We learnt that there are also a few WhatsApp groups managed by Keralite youths to communicate with borrowers. A few borrowers are also victims of social media defamation for failure to pay interests,” said a police officer in Kozhikode city. He added that several borrowers had been trapped after the pandemic outbreak and the consequent financial crisis.

A relative of a borrower from Vadakara said he came across the problem after getting a call from an executive of an online credit distribution agency. “He said I was a guarantor for the money borrowed by my relatives. Many people had been contacted by fraud agents in a similar fashion,” he added.

A cyber cell official warned that sharing of identity documents with the third party could land individuals in unforeseen legal issues and the resultant loss of money. “Anyone can access bank account details or create fake accounts using the documents and siphon off money. It is wise to avoid clicking unfamiliar social media links promising quick money,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 6:53:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/illegal-money-lending-thrives-in-kozhikode/article33533070.ece

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