Three die from harassment by online lenders in Telangana; probe on
In Telangana, at least three cases of suicide due to harassment by money-lending app employees have been reported in the past month. Those who died include a 29-year-old technician, a 23-year-old farmer and a 28-year-old woman.
Authorities are on high alert after the deaths, and an investigation by a police team revealed that at least 60 of these loan apps are available on the Google Play Store.
“These apps, run by certain names, are not registered or recognized by the RBI as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC). Therefore, their operations are completely illegal. Hosting of these apps also violates certain conditions set by Google application. Google may be asked to remove these applications. Most of the applications have similar privacy policies which collect almost all user data, available in the phone, and thus violate the user’s privacy anyway,” said a Telangana police officer.
The investigator said that although under the Information Technology (Intermediate Directives) Rules 2011, apps are expected to provide the names of their grievance officer along with their contact details, details provided by almost all these apps are bogus.
On Friday, a software engineer from Rajendranagar, Cyberabad of Hyderabad committed suicide due to threats from representatives of instant loan mobile app companies. The 29-year-old technician, P Sunil, worked as a software engineer but lost his job during the coronavirus pandemic. “To clear his debts and meet his regular expenses, he started taking loans from instant loan apps. of them started blackmailing him. They also threatened him. He will contact his family members and friends. His father and wife received calls from the said app companies, which declared Sunil defaulting. .,” said a Cyberabad police investigator. Making calls to friends and family breaches Rule 3(2) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011.
Based on the complaint filed by the late Sunil’s wife, a case has been registered and further investigation is ongoing.
According to Telangana Police, the deceased used to take instant loans from apps like InsCash, CashEra, CashLion, Mastermelon, Lucky wallet, Coco cash, Rupee Pus, Indian Loan, Credit Finch, Tap credit, Ratheon loan, Cash port, Smile Loan, Credit Day, Cash Today, Lucky Rupee, Go Cash, Snapit Loan, Loan Zone, Quick Cash, panda rupees, Play cash, Dhani, Lazy Pay, Loan Tap, IPPB Mobile, Micredit , Quick Credit, Cashon, Rupees Plus, Rupee Now, Elephant Loan, Ant cash, Quick Money and Alp Cash.
The police are investigating these applications and the transactions made by the deceased. It is also suspected that app companies would obtain his sensitive data such as contacts, photographs of customers’ mobile numbers, and use them to blackmail or defame customers for reimbursement. Police have asked netizens to stop taking loans from unauthorized lending apps.