Instant Loan App Scam: Have you ever fallen prey to any instant loan app scams? In times of desperate need for money, people often ignore possible consequences in the search for a quick solution.
Instant loan apps, which promise substantial loans and easy repayments, have become a go-to for those facing financial difficulties. Sadly, many people are falling prey to scams related to these instant loan apps and scammers are exploiting the weaknesses of people in lower income classes, women who don’t have enough support, students, and more.
In a disturbing turn of events, the scammers have gone way too far and have escalated to the point of causing the deaths of innocent people in India burdened by debt.
What’s the deal with the Instant Loan App scam?
Recently, a BBC investigation uncovered a deadly scam in India and China with a brutal but simple business model.
Many apps claim to offer easy loans in minutes. While not all are harmful, a lot of them, once installed, push you to share personal details like your name, address, contacts, photos, ID cards, and bank details. Falling into their trap without thinking of consequences, allows scammers to later extort you using this information.
They create fake instant loan apps, carefully disguised and promoted aggressively on app stores, social media, or third-party websites. They attract victims with promises of big loans with simple repayment options.
BBC reported that a company named Callflex Corporation was hired to recover the money. If a customer misses a payment, this company starts targeting not only the customer but also their contacts. The staff can say ‘anything’ ordered from higher-ups as long as they get repayment.
When customers don’t repay on time, their personal information is shared with a call centre where young agents are trained to harass and humiliate people into repayment.
Even after the loan is repaid, the scammers keep extorting money by using morphed pictures or videos of the users.
One such chilling incident happened in India, where a victim named Bhoomi Sinhaa, shortly after applying for the loan, faced continuous calls from recovery agents that later turned aggressive, hurling insults and abuse.
Even after she paid, they accused her of lying and calling up to 200 times a day. They knew her address and sent her pictures of a dead body as a warning.
Things got worse when they said they’d message all 486 people on her phone, calling her a thief and using derogatory words. They also threatened to harm her daughter’s reputation and sent a fake picture of her to most people in her contacts.
Is this happening only in India?
In India alone, the BBC found that at least 60 people took their own lives after facing abuse, harassment, and threats from these Chinese loan apps.
These blackmail scams use instant loan apps to trap and humiliate people not only in India but also in other countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Most victims feel too ashamed to talk about the scam, and thus the criminals have largely remained anonymous and hidden.
Despite arrests in many cases, these instant loan app scam are on the rise, and people are losing their lives. The question remains: are people’s lives valued so little compared to the money involved?
Precautionary Measures Before Downloading a Loan app
1. Download the loan app from trusted sources like Google and Apple Play store.
2. Double-check the app’s functional website, developer email ID, and company domain name, as some apps may have slipped through the companies’ review process, even if they are on Google and Apple stores.
3. Read multiple reviews of the app before installing or using it.
4. Ensure the app has a partnership with a bank or NBFC recognised by the RBI.
5. Visit the bank or NBFC’s website to confirm whether they advertise their partnership with the app.
6. Be cautious about the privacy permissions you grant to a loan app. Uninstall it if it requests access to your photo gallery and contact list.
7. Avoid downloading files directly from the open Internet, as fraud apps are often distributed that way.
8. Refrain from clicking on Instagram or other social media ads for loan apps, as many fraud apps advertise on such platforms.
So, do you have any other suggestions to avoid instant loan app scam?
Written By Shivani Singh
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