Mumbai: Engineer lodges cyber cops after facing harassment from over 50 loan recovery agents

In September last year, the victim had downloaded a loan mobile application on his phone and all the required permissions of his phone. The victim also provided his name, residential address, aadhar, Pan, job and bank account details on the application

Somendra SharmaUpdated: Monday, May 23, 2022, 08:43 PM IST
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Photo credit: IANS

A 32-year-old engineer has lodged a complaint with the Cyber Police Station stating that despite having repaid R 3.85 lakh which he had taken from ten different loan providing applications, he had been facing harassment from 50 to 60 loan recovery agents who threatened him to pay Rs 15 lakh more, and had sent his morphed obscene photographs having derogatory comments, to those in his contact list, including his relatives, his office seniors and colleagues.

According to the police, the complainant is a resident of Kalina and works in a private company at Andheri. In September last year, the victim had downloaded a loan mobile application on his phone and all the required permissions of his phone. The victim also provided his name, residential address, aadhar, Pan, job and bank account details on the application. The victim had taken a small amount of short term loans from the said application a couple of times and had fully repaid the said loans.

"From March 2022 onwards, the victim had been receiving phone calls from different numbers asking him to repay the loans. When the victim informed that he had repaid the loans, he was told by the callers that his loan repayment information had not been updated in their records and if he would not make the payment, then his obscene photograph would be made viral on the social media to defame him," the FIR stated.

The FIR added, "Initially the victim ignored such threats, but on April 28, the victim learnt that his morphed obscene photograph had been by an unknown number to his friend' wife and those in his contact list. From September 2021 till March 2022 the victim had taken a loan of Rs 3.85 lakh from ten different loan applications and had repaid the loans. Still, he had been facing harassment from 50 to 60 loan recovery agents who threatened him to pay Rs 15 lakh more, and had sent his morphed obscene photographs having derogatory comments, to those in his contact list, including his relatives, his office seniors and colleagues."

Harassed with this, the victim approached the police and got a criminal complaint lodged in the matter with the Cyber Police Station. The police have registered a case on charges of punishment for extortion, punishment for defamation, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, punishment for criminal intimidation, punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.

"The so-called loan apps are totally illegal. It is an illicit syndicate as in India only recognised and registered NBFCs can offer loans. It is an absolutely illegal network, thriving on the ignorance of people and their inclination to make quick profit. These apps promise hassle free loans and quick money and people are lured into falling victim to them, not realising that their phones get hacked, their data gets stolen and their privacy is totally invaded. The perpetrators can be easily traced through tracing of IP addresses, through the bank account details and telephone numbers through which they operate. Whenever they offer quick loans to any victim, the victim is required to download a particular app which asks for permission to access all the data in the phone. The fraudsters then use the said information to threaten the victim and extort money," said inspector general of police, Maharashtra Cyber, Yashasvi Yadav

Recent loan shark cases registered

May 04 - Kurar resident Sandeep Koregaonkar had died by suicide after he was harassed by loan sharks.

May 08 - Anurag Singh (24) had filed a police complaint after an app circulated his morphed photos over a “loan” of Rs 3,805

May 10 - Rajeshkumar Ramani (32), employed with an imitation jewellery shop, had filed a complaint with the police claiming harassment from loan sharks

May 11 - 36-year-old life insurance agent from Malad who had taken loan from a loan providing application was harassed by loan recovery agents

May 12 - Loan sharks had misused WhatsApp display picture of a 34-year-old Nepean sea Road resident and harassed him to repay the money, despite victim had paid the loan amount.

May 20 - An FIR was registered against loan recovery agents of two loan apps for allegedly morphing a 28-year-old woman’s photo and circulating it to her friends and family.

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