PUNE: The city’s cyber police have formed a special team to investigate cases of fraud, extortion and harassment by instant loan application agents.
Between January and June (until June 24) of this year, the Pune Cyber Police received 1,783 complaints of extortion, cheating, threats and harassment from those who took advantage of loan apps. microcredit. The plaintiffs also alleged that the recovery agents broadcast their altered images and false information to people on their contact list. Police had received 928 complaints in 2021 and 837 in 2020 relating to loan application fraud.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta and Deputy Police Commissioner (Cyber) Bhagyashri Navtake reviewed the complaints and ordered Cyber Police to form a special team to investigate cases of fraud and harassment related to app scams loan.
Cyber Police Senior Police Inspector DS Hake told TOI, “The team consists of a police inspector, an assistant inspector and five officers.” Hake said: “During the investigation, the police have identified up to 200 suspicious loan applications which provide micro loans to individuals. The amount of loan offered by these applications ranges from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50 000. These loan application companies mainly operate from NCR, Delhi, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore, Maharashtra and other places.”
“We regularly receive complaints from citizens of harassment against loan applications. The victims claim that the call center managers of these loan applications threaten them if some IMEs are not paid. Even those who have only done download applications but did not take out a loan received derogatory threats and calls from these executives,” Hake said.
“The suspects are using deepfake technology to transform these images. Officers are carefully studying victims’ social media pages before uploading transformed images or issuing threats over the phone,” Hake said.
Cybercrime expert and lawyer Gaurav Jachak said: “Nobody has the right to violate their private space by making derogatory calls. The call center managers of these companies threaten people by uploading their obscene images transformed on social media platforms.”