Mangaluru: More youngsters, mostly women, becoming victims of shady loan apps

Team Udayavani, Mar 8, 2022, 11:42 AM IST

Mangaluru: In an alarming development, it has come to light that many youngsters, particularly women, have been caught in the vicious vortex of loan apps that promise to offer easy loans.

The users of these unregulated apps, which look harmless at first, often end up harassed online. Many are drawn to these apps in their need for money. The availability of easy and instant personal loans, usually a relatively smaller amount, lures people in need of urgent money. However, once taking a loan, the loan sharks pester, harass and threaten the borrower for money, even after repaying the money in full.

Take the instance of a young woman from Mangaluru who borrowed Rs 8,000 from a loan app in January this year. Even though she repaid the amount in full, she kept receiving calls demanding more money. She was also threatened with her morphed, obscene photos. After the incident, the woman approached the police.  The WhatsApp number from which she received the threatening messages connected to a woman, who said she was unaware about sending any such message.

On the advice of the police, the young woman changed her phone number. However, the harassment has still not stopped. Her brother now gets calls from unknown numbers, issuing similar threats.

This is not an isolated case. There have been several such complaints to the cyber police in recent months. It may be recalled that youth from Surathkal had ended his life after being hounded by the crooks behind a loan app. Police sources said that 3 more cases were reported, and the affected youngsters are being counseled and are recovering from the shock.

There are suspicions that there are Chinese links to these apps being promoted in India. The intelligence wing has collected information on the app used by the youngster who had taken his life recently. The Indian government had also banned several suspect Chinese apps recently.

Mangaluru DCP Hariram Shankar cautioned the public not to borrow from such shady apps.  “Even if you do, and if you are harassed, please change your SIM card and approach the police for further assistance. Your information is kept secret and confidential. Police will assist in getting proper legal remedy,” he added.

He advised the victims of such nefarious schemes not to lose hope. “Do not make rash decisions, if you are being threatened with morphed photos or videos,” he added.


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