KOCHI: Police have filed a complaint against people running an online money lending app for allegedly threatening a Rajasthani native working in Kochi even after he repaid the loan amount.
The case was filed against the app named Cash Advance at Kochi Cyber Police Station on May 30 following a complaint by 21-year-old Narsi Ram Meghwal from Nagaur who worked at a company here .
“The plaintiff took out a small loan after downloading the app from Google Playstore on January 24. He repaid the amount via UPI on January 31. However, two weeks later, he started receiving calls and messages saying he hadn’t paid the loan fee. Although he tried to convince the app operators that he had refunded the full amount, they continued to be in denial mode,” a police officer said.
When he refused to pay the amount again, he started receiving abusive WhatsApp messages and calls. The app operators claimed they accessed Narsi’s phone and threatened to send obscene messages to his friends. The case was registered under IPC Section 506 for Criminal Intimidation, Kerala Police Act 120(o) for causing a nuisance through calls, letters, messages , e-mails and anonymous messages and Article 67 of the Computer Law for the publication or transmission of obscene material in electronic form. .
“This is a bogus company with no proper contact information. We are trying to trace the people running the app. Preliminary investigation revealed that similar cases have also been registered against the company in other states. We will coordinate with the police in those states to identify the people running the app,” an official said.
In March this year, the Intelligence and Strategic Operations Fusion Unit (IFSO) of the Delhi Police arrested eight people associated with the Cash Advance app. Delhi police have found that once the app is downloaded, operators hack user data from cell phones. The application has been used to install malware on mobile phones using which all content can be accessed. The money extorted from borrowers was found to be funneled to China, Hong Kong and Dubai via cryptocurrencies.
Several people thus deceived have made negative comments about the application on Google Playstore. Google Playstore details show that the app has had over a million downloads. “People should not rely on such websites and mobile apps for obtaining loans. Money should only be borrowed from authorized banking companies approved by RBI,” an officer said.