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Google pulls 17 fraudulent Android loan apps targeting Indian users

As per the privacy policies of these apps, if those permissions are not granted, the loan will not be reimbursed to the users. To complete the loan application process, the users are compelled to provide extensive personal information.

Saumya Nigam Edited By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: December 07, 2023 12:51 IST
Google play, scam, loan app
Image Source : FILE Google pulls 17 fraudulent Android loan apps targeting Indian users

Researchers said that they have found 18 fraudulent loan apps on Play Store that personate themselves as genuine personal loan service providers. Google has removed 17 of these misleading applications, which have been targeting Indian users along with other countries.

About Fraud loan application

As per the report by ESET Research, these apps had more than 12 million downloads across the world from Google Play before they got removed.

Such misleading deceptive Android loan apps were named 'SpyLoan apps'.

ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko, who uncovered many of SpyLoan apps said, “These malicious applications exploit the trust that users place in legitimate loan providers, using sophisticated techniques to deceive people and steal a very wide range of personal information.”

As per the report, the creators of these fogery apps, blackmail and harass their victims, and they even threaten them for life.

The apps are operational mainly in nations like India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Indonesia, Colombia, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore and Nigeria.

What else do these apps do? Its main focus

Other than data harvesting and blackmail, these apps present a form of modern-day digital loan-sharking, which refers to the charging of excessive interest rates on loans which the commoners take- certainly misusing the trust and taking additional advantage of their vulnerable situation.

How much interest do these SpyLoan apps charge?

The total annual cost (TAC) of such loans, according to victims of these applications, has been more than stated, and the loan period is reportedly shorter than those that the legitimate banks provide.

Also, in some cases, the borrowers were further pressured to pay off their loans in the next five days (which seems to be unrealistic for many), instead of the stated 91 days, and the total annual cost of the loan was anywhere between 160 per cent and 340 per cent, the report specified.

India Tv - loan app, fake loan app

Image Source : FILEGoogle pulls 17 fraudulent Android loan apps targeting Indian users

About SpyLoan scheme

Back in 2020, the researchers traced the origins of the SpyLoan scheme.

When a SpyLoan app is installed on an Android device, the user is forced to agree to the terms of service and provide extensive permissions to access their sensitive data which are saved on their device.

As per the privacy policies of these apps, if those permissions are not granted, the loan will not be reimbursed to the users. To complete the loan application process, the users are compelled to provide extensive personal information.

ALSO READ: Paytm expands credit services, and offers larger loans to consumers and merchants | Deets

Inputs from IANS

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