The next time you apply for a loan, be sure to avoid mobile apps. 29-year-old software engineer, founder of a technology start-up in
“In December last year, my loan of Rs 8.10 lakh was approved, but as I needed start-up funds, I abandoned the car plan and canceled all loan applications,” Arjun said.
During the first week of January, Arjun received a call and subsequent messages from a person claiming to be a recovery agent who asked him to pay the Rs 3,800 he had borrowed from an online application through his phone.
Arjun replied that he had no loans and started ignoring calls. The agent would have sent him messages on his Whatsapp number.
“The first five messages were polite. But when I specified that I would not pay, the sender started sending abusive messages in
The person threatened to share my photoshopped Aadhaar and PAN card with abusive captions to all my contacts including my family members, relatives and friends,” Arjun said.
Amazingly, the person carried out the threats. The messages were sent to his family and friends, and they called him to alert him to the vulgar messages.
“They had forwarded photos of my documents, photoshopped with captions saying I was a rapist, thief and defaulter and anyone who finds me in public should hand me over to the police etc,” Arjun said.
Arjun said he will also receive calls during working hours. The harassment was such that Arjun decided to pay some money. When he looked through his old messages, he realized that it all started from a lending app he had downloaded earlier but never used. Arjun spoke to the person who said with Rs 1,700 the deal would be closed. Arjun did, but the harassment didn’t stop.
These lending apps do not allow you to proceed to the next step if you choose not to allow them access to contacts and access to media
– Arjun, victim of credit fraud
An amount “too small”
Arjun approached Yelahanka police and told them about his ordeal but they advised him that there were other cases of cyber scams running into hundreds of thousands of euros so this is not was nothing. “They just told me to block the phone number and ignore them,” Arjun said.
But Arjun told people about it and found out that an acquaintance of his had also been a victim of such a crime, but he did not speak out because of the stigma involved. His friend had downloaded an app where he was offered a loan of Rs 2,300 and he had to pay Rs 5,000 in seven days and when he failed he was harassed on his online space where his photoshopped documents filled with abuse and nudity were shared with family and peers online.
“When I checked my friend’s phone, I was shocked to see that his Aadhaar card and PAN card had also been photoshopped in the same way as mine. These people are operating with leaked data which they have access to when you download a mobile app. If you choose not to allow access to contacts and access to media, you cannot proceed to the next step,” explained Arjun.
He thinks it is an organized crime syndicate that obtains confidential information about random people online and then calls them and/or sends SMS and Whatsapp messages to extort money from them.
Arjun has now uninstalled the app and blocked all harassing callers, and expects the harassment to stop soon.