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

“The main factor that draws people to these apps is the ease of processing no-collateral loans”

“The main factor that draws people to these apps is the ease of processing no-collateral loans”

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

The formalities were easy and the application did not require any deposit. He availed himself of a loan of around ₹5,000, for which around ₹3,000 was credited to his account after deductions. Although the man repaid 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 on his phone’s contact list. The man approached the Coimbatore District (Rural) Police cyber crime station, only to find that he was not the only victim.

Another victim, a woman, received a small loan from a microloan app from which she was redirected to many similar digital instant loan apps. The woman was granted a loan of ₹1 lakh in total and contacted the cybercrime police after receiving threatening calls.

In the latest case, a man from Coimbatore installed one of the instant loan apps and submitted some details for a micro loan. Although he did not apply for the loan, he began to receive calls for repayment. When he ignored these calls, he received a transformed photo of himself and his wife, which the caller threatened to release to all cellphone contacts.

“We received about 10 complaints related to cheating, threats and harassment after taking advantage of loans from some of the fraudulent digital loan apps. In a hurry to find money, those who install them do not read the permissions asked of them. These apps access cell phone details including contacts and photos which are then misused,” said S. Jayadevi, Cyber ​​Crime Station Inspector, Coimbatore District.

According to her, many young people were being defrauded by fraudulent microcredit applications.

“The main factor that attracts people to these applications is the easy processing of loans without any collateral. Details such as copies of Aadhaar card, voter ID card and Pan card submitted while processing the loan can be misused. More importantly, the contacts and photos stored in victims’ mobile phones were misused,” she said.

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

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