Three individuals have allegedly committed suicide due to constant harassment by instant borrowing apps that publically shame and threaten their borrowers. The Hyderabad Police, after conducting a probe, has found these cases to have links with Chinese and Indonesian nationals. As of yet, 11 people have been arrested while 700 laptops, servers, and computer systems have been seized in relation to the ongoing investigation.
Available at Google Play Store, there are at least 80 such apps, which have not been registered by Reserve Bank of India as NBFC, and are thus engaged in unauthorized lending. The payments are mostly made through online wallets, gateways, etc. while the rate of interest can go as high as 100 percent. Since most of these apps ask for permissions for accessing the contact list, gallery, etc. which the users generally allow, they can get easy access to almost all information about the borrower.
Once the due date for payment arrives, this information is then used to harass the borrowers through frequent calls often using foul language and threats of public shaming in front of family and friends as a mode for loan recovery. A few apps including Dhana Dhan, Cash Mama, Loan Zone, Mastermelon, Cash Era, Lucky Wallet, Coco Cash and Cash Lion have been listed by the Hyderabad police in connection to these harassment crimes.
The police has warned to not fall prey to any such instant loan apps without making sure that they are genuine. Furthermore, the police has also warned to not share bank credentials with any such apps to ward off fraudulent loans.