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Google scraps loan apps as scams mount

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Google scraps loan apps as scams mount

Global tech giant Google has removed personal loan apps in India from<span class="gmail_default"> </span>Play Store in order to safeguard users from unscrupulous elements who have been extorting money. “We have reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India, based on flags submitted by users and government agencies,” Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy said in a blog  post on Thursday. Google did not mention the number of apps that had been deleted. It said it would make sure apps complied with local laws and regulations. “Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice,” the statement said. The move comes amid soaring complaints about scamsters first offering  loans for 90 to 360 days to borrowers who fall in the trap because of the “instant” disbursement of the loan. However, once the loan is taken the lending sharks start harassing the unsuspecting borrowers to repay the money within 7 days and start shaming them for “defaulting” on the payment. Since they gain access to the personal data of borrowers, this is used to blackmail them to pay huge sums. With the alarming increase in such scams, the Reserve Bank of India has also set up a committee to go into the issue of short-term online loans which gained currency during the lockdowns to fight the coronavirus pandemic.  Many of these apps have a Chinese connection and it is suspected that after the crackdown in China against such fraudsters they have shifted the same business model to India with the help of local partners..