Cyber cops identify 15 fraudulent loan apps, seek their removal from app store

The Mumbai police advisory released on Wednesday said that people should not receive video calls from unknown people and not succumb to the temptation of easy money via social media
Most of these loan apps were developed after Covid-19, luring several people who lost their jobs and needed money. These apps offer easy and quick loans, they (the fraudsters) trap people with high processing fees, irrelevant taxes, and exorbitant interest rates (StockPic)
Most of these loan apps were developed after Covid-19, luring several people who lost their jobs and needed money. These apps offer easy and quick loans, they (the fraudsters) trap people with high processing fees, irrelevant taxes, and exorbitant interest rates (StockPic)
Published on May 18, 2022 09:11 PM IST
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ByVinay Dalvi

Mumbai: Acting on several complaints of harassment and threats made by fraudulent loan recovery agents to customers, including the one where a 38-year-old-man from Kurar, who fell prey to the scam and died by suicide, the Maharashtra cyber police has written to Google Play Store to remove 15 loan apps.

The police said that the apps have been selected after an analysis of the complaints received in the state by 48 cyber police stations, including the four cyber crime police stations of the Mumbai police.

“Most of these loan apps were developed after Covid-19, luring several people who lost their jobs and needed money. These apps offer easy and quick loans, they (the fraudsters) trap people with high processing fees, irrelevant taxes, and exorbitant interest rates. However, people taking loans should not get afraid of such apps, if they have taken loans from them and are harassed, they should immediately report the incidents to the police,” said Sanjay Shintre, Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Cyber.

He added that they have also made a checklist to guide the cyber crime police stations in investigating such cases.

“The Reserve Bank of India has already constituted a working group on digital lending and the group has recommended that in the medium term, the government may consider bringing legislation to prevent illegal lending. The group’s research had found that out of the 1,100 lending apps that are currently operational, 600 of them are illegal,” said the police officer.

“A user can even report to Google Play Store about the app and if they get several such requests, they also take action on their own. We have identified 15 apps and are checking if there are any more such apps,” said Shintre.

Mumbai police have already registered 9 such cases in the past two weeks. The first case was registered after the suicide of a 38-year-old man, who worked as an imitation jewellery worker in Kurar. Though the man had not taken any loan, he was harassed by the loan sharks, who morphed his photos and circulated them to the people on his contact list.

The Mumbai police advisory released on Wednesday said that people should not receive video calls from unknown people and not succumb to the temptation of easy money via social media. One should be careful and not fall prey to fake loan schemes, it added.

Loan apps under scanner

Sanjay Shintre said, “We have written to play store to remove loan apps like Loan India which is operated from Lakshmi Nagar in Delhi, Cash Loan, Cash Advance operated from Navi-Mumbai, Mumbai, Kosh operated from Haryana, Yes Cash operated from New Delhi, Handy Loan operated from Gujarat, Rupees Land operated from Pune, Magic Loan, Andhra Pradesh, Credit King, Tamil Nadu, Mobile Cash, Chembur, Alfa Loans, New Delhi, Speed Loan, New Delhi, Alexandria Loan, Gurugram, Haryana, Koko, and Janecoin apps.”

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