Wayanad: Online Loan Apps, virtual loan sharks, without face or location, has caused the destruction of two families in Kerala. The invisible power it wields is threatening to the common man and his family who finds it impossible to stand up against its might and technological superiority.
The suicides of Ajayan from Wayanad and a family of four in Kochi are directly related to the threats of these unrestricted Online Loan App mafia. In both cases the culprits created morphed pictures of women and shared it to the relatives and friends of the victims. It was a cruel way to punish those who failed to repay their loans.
Nijo, and his wife Shilpa in Kochi, could not bear the threats from these online loan companies. Their grief and shame aggravated when these companies send morphed pictures of Shilpa to relatives and friends. The couple had no other choice but to end the lives of their children and to commit suicide.
In Wayanadu, Ajayan, who makes a living selling lottery tickets, had to resort to an online loan company after he had a shortage of just Rs.5000. When he failed to repay the small amount, the online loan app company morphed pictures of his wife’s photo and send it to Ajayan’s friends and family. This led Ajayan to take the extreme step.
In both cases it must be suspected that the Online Loan App companies have access to the photos and details of the mobile phones of their consumers.
Earlier, Kerala had witnessed the harassment and threats of loan sharks, which ended in the mass suicides of numerous families. Loan companies began hiring goons to intimidate family and also to cause harm, when repayment failed. However, in 2014, the then government had launched Operation Kubera to put an end to these practices of private money lenders.
A report said that these online loan apps reach potential customers by reaching out to people through phone calls and messages. When the victim downloads the application on their phone the online loan app asks for permission to access contacts, media files etc.
The report said that these online loan app companies get hold of your personal data and then uses it against the victim for failure of repayment. The app asks for phone numbers, identity details, Aadhar card details and personal photo for registration.
When repayment is not done, the online loan company begins blackmailing and morphs photos and sends the same to WhatsApp contacts of the victim, making him or her vulnerable.
If anyone is under threat from these fraudulent companies, one can complaint to the nearest cyber cell in the area or file an online cyber complaint at the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. The portal is established by the government of India. One can also avail and call 1930, the national cybercrime helpline.