Though an official confirmation is awaited, Google has reportedly deleted 18 loan applications from the Play Store as they were snooping on users by gathering information from their devices. Fraudsters later used to blackmail users via the gathered data, forcing them to succumb to unreasonable loan terms through blackmail and extortion.
ESET researchers have informed about applications used by loan sharks to dupe users. These apps specifically aim at individuals residing in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. The security firm reported that out of the 18 apps it had brought to Google's attention, 17 were successfully removed by the search giant. The remaining app persists on the app store, albeit in a modified version with altered functionality and permissions. Android users need to be aware that despite Google's removal of these apps, they must manually delete them from their phones.
Full List of 17 applications removed by Google
- AA Kredit
- Amor Cash
- Préstamos De Crédito-YumiCash
- Go Crédito
- Instantáneo Préstamo
- Cartera grande
- Rápido Crédito
- Finupp Lending
- 4S Cash
Earlier, the Union Home Ministry in India had blocked around 100+ websites which were involved in illegal investments and part-time job frauds. The blocked websites were reportedly operated by overseas individuals, an official statement confirmed.
The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), which is a unit of the Union Home Ministry's vertical National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit (NCTAU), has identified these fraud websites and recommended blocking them last week. The websites were engaged in fraudulent investment schemes and part-time job scams in India.
These websites were blocked as per the Information Technology Act of 2000, by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and have followed the recommendation which was made by the I4C.