Thursday, August 18, 2022

Chinese fraudsters on the prowl to scam Indians using fake loan apps

In February this year, a complaint was lodged at the IFSO unit of the Special Cell by a woman alleging that she was being abused and threatened by some unknown persons who were sending her morphed and vulgar photographs to her family, friends and relatives through social media.

The complainant had taken a loan from a Loan App, Cash Advance, she repaid the same in time. But after repaying the loan she started getting threat calls and messages on WhatsApp from Cash Advance employees.

It was not an isolated case, rather several Indians have in recent times fallen prey to such high-end cyber crimes in which people are being defrauded to the tune of hundreds of crores ofrupees everyday.

A similar case came to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police where a man alleged that he and his family, friends and relatives are being abused and also threatened by some unknown persons through some international and national WhatsApp mobile numbers, to repay the loan taken by the same “Cash Advance” application.

In another case, when the police were investigating a cyber fraud of just Rs 6500, it was shocked to learn that the bank account in which the cheated amount was deposited had a daily transaction of Rs 19.43 crores.

The thing is that high-tech Chinese cyber criminals have devised a new strategy to dupe people and are these days defrauding Indians via fake loan applications.

According to a senior Delhi Police official, in the past six months several cases of fraud, ultimately connected to Chinese cyber gangs, have come to light.

Gullible Indians are everyday falling prey to the small amount of loans that they get through these Chinese operated fake loan apps that are available on the Play Store.

“These lend money instantly to any person downloading these applications for a period of a few days. At the time of downloading the application, the app asks permission to capture, contact list, photo gallery and other personal data of the phone of the loan seeker,” the police official said.

After taking a loan, some of the total amount is deducted as processing fees and if the remaining amount is not paid within the stipulated time the interest and penalties together take the repayment to 200 percent of the loan amount.

If the money is not paid, the call centres operating out of neighbouring countries like Nepal, threaten the victims to leak their personal data and make abusive comments to their contacts as while downloading the application it accesses all the contacts, photos and other data in the mobile phone of the victim.

But still there is a catch!

The money cannot be directly transferred to international or Chinese bank accounts so the fraudsters need Indian bank accounts to take payments.

This is where the Chinese scamsters are finding vulnerable, poor and greedy people of the country to help them in getting the Indian bank accounts. “They look for such people to arrange these types of bank accounts for them,” said the official.

In one such recent case, an accused person who was arrested by the Delhi Police, revealed that in order to communicate with the Chinese cyber fraudsters, he used to translate the messages received in the Chinese language to Hindi with the help of Google Translator and also used to pass his version with the help of Google Translator.

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