Instant digital loan apps become an easy trap for fraud and harassment

“The main factor that attracts people to these apps is the ease of processing loans without a guarantee”

“The main factor that attracts people to these apps is the ease of processing loans without a guarantee”

A Coimbatore man recently downloaded an instant loan app after facing financial hardship.

The formalities were simple and the app did not require a guarantee. He took out a loan of around ₹5,000, for which he was credited around ₹3,000 after deductions. Although the man returned the amount, he continued to receive calls on behalf of the app demanding further payments.

When he refused to pay, the caller threatened to circulate his transformed photo with those in his phone’s contact list. The man approached the Coimbatore District (Rural) Police Cyber ​​Crime Station only to find he was not the only victim.

Another victim, a woman, took out a small loan from a microloan app, which redirected her to many similar digital instant loan apps. The woman took out a loan totaling 1 lakh and contacted the cybercrime police after receiving threatening phone calls.

In the most recent case, a man from Coimbatore installed one of the instant loan apps and submitted certain data for a micro loan. Although he did not apply for the loan, he received calls for repayment. When he ignored such calls, he received an altered picture of himself and his wife, which the caller threatened to distribute to all contacts on the cellphone.

“We have received around 10 complaints related to fraud, threats and harassment after taking loans from some of the rogue digital lending apps. In a rush to raise money, those who install them don’t read the required permissions. These apps access details in mobile phones, including contacts and photos, which are later misused,” said S. Jayadevi, inspector of the Coimbatore District Cyber ​​Crime Station.

According to her, many youngsters have been victims of scams by fraudulent microcredit apps.

“The main factor that draws people into these apps is the ease of processing loans without a guarantee. Details such as copies of Aadhaar card, voter ID and pan card submitted during loan processing can be misused. Most importantly, contacts and photos stored on victims’ cellphones have been misused,” she said.

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

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