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Aasan Loan Scam-Loan Sharks, their target audience, heavy
interests & blackmailing

Loan Scam
Loan Scam (Representative Image)

By: Krishna Shah

Aasan Loan Scam-Loan Sharks, their target audience, heavy
interests & blackmailing


India is a large market & people here with low income & high
expenditure often look for loan. Digitally speaking, seeing this
demand now old money lending platforms are digital for a new
generation but it’s an irony that these are professional scams.
After 2015 & onwards, these apps gradually increased so as the
scam reports to police. Shockingly, according to a report, most of
the victims are students & even well-educated people. That is
maybe these apps work technically authentic & the victim doesn’t
realise it by giving information at first.
How do these apps work? What are their tricks to lure the
borrowers into apply for loans? How much is the interest on these
loans? How do they do blackmailing to get back that money with
a pile of interest? And lastly, how to tackle those scammers if you
have already made the mistake;
Every now & then we see apps lending loans advertisements on
Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
People with the need for instant money are potential & target
audiences for these apps. Lack of knowledge to use these apps
or urgent need of money which no bank can give within short
notice lead the people to these apps to borrow money.
List of the prominent apps available on the play store;

  • ASAN LOAN
  • RUPEE PLUS
  • MONKEY BOX
  • MONEYBOX
  • Asan Loan
  • OK CASH
  • SNAPITLOAN
  • RHINO FINANCE
  • KEMEX FINANCE
    These apps along with multiple others are running by probably
    the same person or same company which according to some
    reports are being Funded by Chinese investors.
    A victim stated, “So the past couple of weeks back I was in
    very urgent need of money so I googled up some keywords
    like Low-interest Personal Loan and right after that some ads
    popped up on my Social Media handles about some Loan
    Apps with some small loan amount like ₹1000-₹10,000”.
    As for the audience victims usually state that they usually get
    tricked with the technical process of authentication. Apps require
    you to confirm your identity with your Identity card, phone number
    & a picture of the person. Later in many cases, they use the same
    contact information & pictures to blackmail people.
    “When I downloaded the app it asked me for my Aadhar
    card as ID proof, Pan card and some other details like
    emergency contacts of 5 people. I was aware and had heard
    of these Loan Scams so I provided them with fake numbers &
    names. Now the app asks you to click a selfie for human
    verification and that’s the second main point to blackmail the
    victim with fake or morphed pictures on the internet”. Said
    by a victim.
    In addition, they want you to get them access to your location,
    camera, microphone, contacts, call logs, even calendar.
    As soon as you confirm your identity they either ask the amount
    you want to borrow or in some cases, they just send you their
    desired amount to your bank account which you have filled in
    basic details. When you check your balance & the amount you
    are required to return it usually blow you away with it the huge
    interest of 100% or slightly less than that. The period in which you
    are required to return that amount with interest is one week span
    within 7 Days.
    “I gave all the information which they asked as basics
    and then the app took me to the home page. Within 15-30min
    my account was credited with an amount of 2600 (INR). I had
    no idea where this money came from for I didn’t click on any
    amount or anything like other legal loan apps require us to
    do and then when I opened the app there it shows me
    repayment options? The amount which I had to pay them
    back was 4050 (INR). Literally with 2x interest of what they
    have sent me and that too within 7 working days. So that is
    where it usually gets fishy because they send you the
    amount without any consultation or how much money you
    asked for and then they start texting you on WhatsApp to pay
    the amount back”. Said the victim.
    After one week it usually gets under your nerves as the interest
    gradually increases & that is when they demand their loan back.
    When the borrowers refuse or want some time concession they
    start to bully and blackmail you. Their blackmailing works
    differently.
    As stated, they use the early information you allowed these apps
    to get access to. Like contacts, identity details etc.
    Contacts; They pick up contacts which they think are useful, like
    your parent’s numbers which we usually save what we call them
    in our daily lives. Not only parents they pick your relatives or
    friends numbers to later blackmail you to get their money back.
    This Loan recovery agent when hit your contact list they
    harass them by calling them, messaging them and asking them to
    make payment on your behalf.
    There is a psychological outcome of this blackmailing.
    Harassing borrowers & their relatives while constantly threatening
    them & embarrassing them in front of others leave a huge mark
    on their mental health.
    “And when you don’t pay them back they blackmail you with
    ‘we will send your information to all your contact list & will
    WhatsApp them with your name and photo about the mistake
    you made. That’s how they mentally harass/torture you”.
    Victim stated.
    Photo; They also circulate the photo that you clicked to all your
    contacts with tags like fraud & scam & if the victim is a lady they
    photoshop the same picture with nudity & pornographic content.
    Calls:-They call you with different numbers & apps Like Truecaller
    even fails most of the time to detect the number so that receiver
    can’t detect if it is spam or can’t be traced legally. They even use
    foreign phone numbers to avoid spam filters.
    We are here to tell you that how to deal with these scammers
    if you have already taken that loan;
    If you have taken a loan from this app then here is what you
    should do to deal with them. If they call you before the due date of
    payback & lure you into how you can make another withdrawal
    with less interest again, then don’t give them that money back.
    They won’t give another loan in some cases.
    Secondly, if they call and ask for repayment ask them to send
    you a loan agreement which of course they don’t possess
    because they mostly are not NBFC registered. They will deny
    giving a registry number as will divert your attention with offers
    like make the transaction first & then they will give you their
    registration number which is unethical & unprofessional so simply
    do not make the transaction at this point. Plus they don’t possess
    a contact number or website or NBFC approval badge.
    Mostly, the blackmailing process work for them & people do
    repay them. But if have borrowed money and facing the same
    blackmailing, like calls & pictures, then do remember what they
    are doing is illegal & invading your privacy can have serious
    outcomes in a court of law & it is the right way to recover your
    debt as the court has to decide how much you have to pay back.
    Do not use these mediums for loans. Use legal & usual ways to
    borrow money. But if you did, don’t get scared as they can’t reach
    you through other means, they can not reach your houses or send
    you legal notices as they are scammers. They can’t harm you
    over the phone & simply don’t let them get into your mind &
    disturb your life.
    Do not go for random apps if you need money or any other app
    that requires you to give them your identity & phone details. As
    these loan scams show, they use that information & can give you
    enough trouble financially & mentally.
    Since 2015, these apps gradually increased in number. As in a
    report published by The Federal, these apps are more than forty
    in number and most of them are registered with Non-Banking
    Financial Company; NBFC. Not all but the majority of them are
    scams & some were traced back to a Chinese origin.
    A dragon behind them or not, there is a need to educate people
    on better & technical use of technology. The Indian banking
    system is strong & are a proper organisation but apps like these
    could be non-registered or registered but scams need a second
    look into their authentication. Your priority should be to get loans
    from the most used outlets for loans & then look for alternative
    ways to get yourself money.

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