Illegal money lenders in the country had stepped up their game by using mobile apps to steal data from mobile phones of their borrowers.
The information stolen include photos, personal videos and contact lists that will be used to intimidate victims to continue making payments even after full settlement.
In addition, these apps had enabled these syndicates to control the camera, microphone and access the mobile users location and monitor their movements.
According to The Star, over 20 such apps have been identified on Google Play such as 126 loan, Ace Credit, De Capital, Easy Duit and JF Credit. These syndicates have made the installation of the app a pre-condition for the loan process. The borrowers are also required to give access to their device and social media accounts.
One simply needs to fill out a form in the app, attach a photo of the identity card and also take a selfie with the card. Following the verification, the borrower should be able to get the money within an hour.
Speaking to The Star, Kuala Lumpur Consumer Safety Association president Samsuddin Mohamad Fauzi said they received complaints from about 10 victims every week with most of them falling victim to a loan shark by the name of “Jimmy”.
“His victims are all over the country, even in Sabah and Sarawak, through the Credit Masterz app.”
“He will force his victims to do all the dirty work such as throw paint at other victims’ houses, so he will have at least one henchman in every state.”
“In return, he will offer them a discount on their repayment,” he said.
Samsuddin also said the loan sharks will create a a group or send a broadcast message to the victims’ contact list with the intention of harassing the borrowers, their friends and family.
“They take pictures from the victims’ mobile gallery, edit it with some nude pictures and send it to their contact list.
“They also claim that the victims use them as guarantors, so these people will get worried and start pushing the victims to repay the loan, when actually some of them had already settled the amount,” he said.
Never give in your personal details for some fast approval loans. You never know it may cost your so much more.