Beware Of Chinese Lending Apps :
Taking loans is quite a risky bit. People get trapped by taking unnecessary loans. Or they take loans without knowing whether they can repay it or not. This is how a Debt Trap begins. Some people commit suicide due to the burden of loans. This is a classical scenario. But in this case, the company giving out loans cannot be faulted.
There’s nothing illegal in such scenarios. But nowadays, there are some different loan-related problems. There are some apps where you take loans, repay them, but even then, more money is demanded from you.
Loan apps that blackmail you and threaten to publicly shame you. Threaten to send your morphed photos to your family. This might sound like a plot of a thriller film, but for many, this is the harsh reality nowadays. This is being done by several Chinese Loan Apps.
Come let’s understand these scams in detail.
“Chinese Loan App, or rather, a tool to destroy your life.”
“Love and fraud can strike anyone.”
“There’s no other option.”
“They borrowed quick loans to support their families, but the killer Chinese Loan Apps got the better of them.”
2-3 months ago, news broke that Delhi police arrested around 22 people for sending ₹5 billion to China. Through Hawala trading. The mastermind of the scam was an Indian guy, Anil Kumar.
He was in touch with Chinese people based in China. Anil and his accomplices had employed about 150 people who were served notice by the police. This isn’t standalone news.
Over the last few months, there have been several such instances where the police or the Enforcement Directorate arrested people related to the Chinese Loan Apps, or confiscated millions of rupees. The police stated that Indians were hired and trained by Chinese nationals,they were operating several shell companies, fake companies, that had illegal call centres.
After hearing such news, you should’ve understood, this isn’t some petty theft or scam. Companies were properly being registered, at proper addresses, using the identity cards of Indians.
These companies had dummy directors, dummy seals, digital signatures, they are linked to payment gateways, they set up their call centres, created apps for phones, only for frauding people.
Interestingly, the system works so well, that this isn’t only Chinese loan app, rather, there are several such apps in the market. The police have noticed several separate incidents of this taking place all across the nation.
Last year, in March, Hyderabad police busted such a racket. Two guys from Karnataka were operating a call centre from Bengaluru, under the instructions of a Chinese citizen.
Recently, a 32-year-old Chinese citizen, Wan Chenghua, was arrested by the Chandigarh Police. 20 Indians were also arrested along with him. One of them was the Indian national, Jitu Bhadana. The main person in this specific racket. Chandigarh Police shared his confession video on their Twitter handle.
“When we call them, we directly tell them that their loan repayment is due, and the amount that’s due, and then we threaten them so that
they make the payment.”
In this video, he explains the manner in which the Chinese Loan Apps trick people and fraud them. The thing is, friends, you can find all these apps on Google Play Store. They can have any weird name.
Jeetu Loan, Handy Loan,
Insta Loan, AG Loan.
When you download and install these apps on your phone, they ask for your phone number to log in.
Who would want to download these apps? An average person in dire need of a loan. And those who can’t easily get a loan. Especially people who do not have a credit history. Housewives, students, young people, they are attracted towards these apps because these apps offer loans without any complicated processes, and interest-free loans at that.
When these apps are installed on phones, they ask permission to access the contact list and photo gallery. And then you upload copies of your Aadhaar card and PAN card to get the loan, enter your bank account details, After this, in most cases, these companies actually deposit some money into the bank accounts. They lend some money.
Till this point, this might seem wonderful. Getting a loan quickly and without any hassle.But the problems begin a week later. A week later, the call the borrower, and ask for loan repayment. They ask for an amount much higher than they gave as a loan.
They have the borrower’s phone number, they send them text messages on WhatsApp, and if the money isn’t repaid, eventually, the messages turn into harassment. People are blackmailed and threatened over WhatsApp. They threaten to lodge a police complaint or FIR.
But who are these people?
The people employed in the call centre by these companies. Many unemployed people are hired by these call centres, to do this job. They are given a list of borrowers as ‘targets’ to contact them over WhatsApp, phone calls, asked to threaten them, blackmail them, and do anything they can, so that the companies can get a huge amount of money.
If you still refuse to repay the loans, They start morphing your photos. They send your morphed photos to you telling you that they will publicly publish that for being a loan defaulter. They threaten to send the photos to your family, relatives, and everyone on your contact list.
Remember, you had given the apps access to your contacts and photo gallery while installing them. Giving access to your photos means that they can take photos from your phone they can morph them, and in the case of female borrowers, they are morphed onto obscene photos, and used to blackmail them.
They demand higher amount than the loan itself, and if they refuse to pay. They make morphed pictures and send them to their contact list. So that the customer makes the payment.”
In the Play Store reviews of these apps, you will often find people writing such reviews, who went through the same thing. You can find so many complaints on Google Play Store reviews.
For example, look at the complaint of this Google user.
They said that their account was credited ₹3,485 as a loan one week later, the app called them, and asked for ₹6,010.
Not only the lives of thousands of people are ruined by these scams, friends, this causes an adverse impact on the Indian economy too.
Millions of rupees are being sent out of India. The victims of these scams, are often, poor people.
The Covid pandemic was a major reason that saw a huge boom in fake loan apps. After millions of people lost their jobs, they were desperate for money. But the question arises, how do we differentiate between the scam loan companies and the genuine loan companies?
The simple answer to it is the RBI. All the digital lending apps in the country have to be compulsorily registered with the RBI.
The lenders that are not registered with the RBI, aren’t allowed to lend money. You can go check on RBI’s website
if the company lending you money is registered with the RBI or not.
Does the company have a registration number?
Run the registration number on RBI’s website to check whether it exists or not.
Additionally, there are some simple things that you can pay attention to. Often these fake loan companies do not have a physical address.
Check whether these companies have a physical address in India or not.
Second, often these fake loan apps do not have websites. Check whether they have a website. Any genuine company giving out loans
would have a website. If they do have a website, check whether it is secure. There’s the symbol of a padlock on secure web pages.
This shows whether the website is secure or not.
The websites whose URL begins with https, are the secure websites. The URLs that begin with http, should not be trusted much.
This is applicable to almost all types of websites, do not trust http websites too much.
Check whether the apps giving you loans is asking for your KYC, it is compulsory to fulfil the Know Your Customer norms be alert if the lender isn’t doing so. Then, see if the app giving you a loan is checking your credit-worthiness.
Genuine lender companies check your credit score, they will ask for the history of any previous loans. See if they are asking for loan processing fees, genuine lending companies do not ask for processing fees upfront. it is deducted later, after the loan application is processed.
If they are asking for a loan processing fee upfront, take a step back.
Check if there is a loan agreement. These fake loan apps promise you instant loans without any hassles. But genuine lenders follow RBI’s fair practice code there is a proper loan agreement in which the conditions are clearly specified the rate of interest, the repayment schedule, and the penalties.
Apps that tell you there’s zero paperwork to get a loan is a dangerous app. Paperwork isn’t for the benefit of the company only. It is for your benefit as well. If you sign a contract or an agreement,the rate of interest and the repayment dates on the contract protect your rights.
If you come across such fake loan apps, not only protect yourself, save others too by reporting it to the RBI, to the Cyber cell of the police, and reporting the app to Google Play Store as well.
Do not fall for these traps. Do not give your bank details, ATM pin, or OTP. Even if someone tells you that you’ve won an iPhone, or the treasure of some Nigerian prince, do not believe it. Do not fall for the instant loan trap.
Thank you very much!