Odisha EOW urges Google to remove 45 ‘illegal’ lending apps from Play Store
The Economic Crimes Wing of Odisha Police has demanded Google Inc to immediately remove 45 “fake” lending apps from the Google Play Store.
The EOW recently wrote to Google Inc’s Legal Investigations Support Team in California, asking it to remove 45 apps suspected of using unethical practices to recover money from borrowers.
Among the list of apps sent to Google for removal are: Beloan App, Go Cash, Go Go loan, INS Loan, Asan Loan, Fast cash/Cash Fast, Flip cash, Rupee Wallet, Rupee King, Fast Rupee, Easy Credit Prêt, Cash Cola, Infinity, Sunshine, Credit wallet, Money tree, Cash pocket, Hello rupee, Small credit, Cash room, Star loan, Yes rupee, Ok rupee loan and Magic money loan.
“These apps have been illegally providing short term loans at very high interest rates. These apps are not licensed by the RBI to do so. Further, these loan apps are using unlawful methods of harassment, threats, blackmail, using extremely foul language in order to extort money from victims,” the EOW told Google.
They also harass their friends/relatives as these lending apps have access to the victim’s full contact list, he said.
Many other state police in India also investigate such cases. It is also reported that many people committed suicide because of these illegal, humiliating and torturous activities of these loan applications, the EOW wrote.
Google’s guidelines prohibit the operation of any application involving harassment, blackmail, and threats. Apps available on the Play Store must comply with local laws and respect user privacy. These bogus loan apps have flouted all of these guidelines.
EOW sleuths, while investigating a loan app fraud case, discovered that cyber criminals were exploiting the “anonymity” feature in connection with the app developer/operator on Google Play to engage in various criminal practices.
So, the authority further asked Google not to allow any app to run from Play Store if it does not mention the complete details about its developer/creator.
The WOW recently arrested three cybercriminals who deceived many in the state through such mobile apps.
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