In the midst of a challenging economic situation, many citizens have turned to online loan apps available on the Google Play Store and social media platforms to meet their immediate financial needs. However, what initially seemed like a convenient solution has turned into a nightmare for borrowers as they fall victim to scams and predatory practices. Numerous apps promising instant loans and targeting the masses have flooded social media platforms, but instead of providing genuine financial assistance, they deceive and exploit vulnerable individuals.
These apps impose hidden fees and unreasonable conditions that burden those who are already struggling financially. The severity of the issue came to light as victims of these online loan app scams shared their painful stories on ARY News’ program Sar-e-Aam. Wasim Khan, a resident of Peshawar, recounted his experience with the “Barwaqt Loan” app, from which he borrowed Rs50,000 on April 18, 2021. To his dismay, only Rs2,800 was transferred to his account. Over the past year, he has paid a total of Rs340,000, and now the management of “Barwaqt Loan” is demanding even more money.
Similar tales of exploitation and harassment emerged from other victims who found themselves trapped in the clutches of these fraudulent loan apps. The apps, which initially offer 90-day loans, swiftly demand repayment within a week, resorting to coercion tactics such as making calls to borrowers’ loved ones and threatening to leak personal photos and records.
Renowned magician Nomi, who has been raising awareness about this scam on social media, expressed his frustration at the lack of action taken by relevant institutions. Despite his efforts to report the issue, the authorities have been slow to respond, leaving approximately 25 million people vulnerable to these online loan app scams. In light of the outcry from affected citizens, the government has now taken notice of the urgent situation.
Authorities are committed to protecting the public and have pledged to take prompt action against these fraudulent loan apps. Their focus is on dismantling the scams, ensuring the return of unlawfully obtained funds, and bringing the culprits to justice. As citizens await decisive measures from the authorities, they are hopeful that their appeals have been heard and that they will soon be liberated from the clutches of these online loan app scams. The government’s intervention is a step towards restoring trust and safeguarding the financial well-being of its citizens.