Cases of digital fraud are on the rise and often involve the same culprit – credit apps. In the past two years, countless people across India have been victims of harassment from such apps.
There are currently several lending apps in India that provide small loans to borrowers through mobile applications. However, many of these apps are unregistered and unauthorized entities operating illegally. The typical modus operandi of such apps is to issue loans to needy customers who are then harassed with phone calls from debt collectors. When downloaded, these lending apps often request permission to access personal and financial data stored on customer’s cell phone, which is then misused to harass them.
Murari Sridharan, CTO, BankBazaar.com says, “Cyberfinancial fraud continues to rise, with new scams being reported frequently. By exercising caution when transacting online and following recommended security practices, borrowers can effectively reduce their chances of becoming a victim of financial fraud.”
With the burgeoning instances of financial fraud, caution is imperative when borrowing through lending apps. Here are some ways you can be careful with digital lending:
Choose a lender registered with RBI
An important part of the loan process is knowing your lender. When exploring your options, choose a bank or non-bank financial company (NBFC) that is registered with the RBI. RBI’s website lists the names of banks and NBFCs registered with it. This allows you to determine whether or not your chosen lender is legally regulated and reduces the risk of going to an unauthorized lender. Almost all financial institutions registered with the RBI have official websites or mobile applications offering a range of lending services. Using an app or website from a lender registered with the RBI is advisable to meet your borrowing needs.
Do not entertain unsolicited links or messages
As the need for credit has increased, unauthorized lending apps have proliferated over time, often offering quick loans with or without documentation. You may have received unwanted links or messages from such apps yourself. The key to safety is to ignore and delete such communications, no matter how lucrative they may be. By interacting with such links, you risk compromising your sensitive data which may be misused.
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Be wary of pushy lenders
Borrowing is a financial obligation and must be done with caution. Be careful when asking for credit when asking for your bank details e.g. B. for expiry dates of your card, PIN, OTP or bank passwords. Also, stay away from lenders who may be chasing you with a loan offer. It is worth remembering that banks and financial institutions do not contact customers to inquire about sensitive financial information. If you are confronted with such a case with a lender, it is advisable to look for another lender.
Use strong passwords
Using strong passwords for your bank and online accounts is an effective way to protect yourself from such risks. Follow best practices to create strong passwords and change them regularly. Use updated antivirus software on your mobile phone and PC.
Adhil Shetty, Chief Executive Officer, Bank Bazaar.com suggests: “There are a few things you can do to ensure you don’t fall for unauthorized apps. First of all, avoid downloading unauthorized applications and use only registered and approved banking apps. Second, avoid accessing or clicking on unfamiliar links sent to you via SMS or any other messaging platform. Third, create strong passwords for your mobile device and social media accounts. If you receive a suspicious link or message, report it to the Cybercrime Unit.”
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*Use an RBI registered lender’s app or website to meet your lending needs
* Create strong passwords for your PC, mobile and social media accounts
* Stay away from lenders who pursue you with lucrative loan offers. Do not click on unsolicited messages or links from rental apps