According to a shocking report, there are multiple scam loan apps on the App Store in India that charge excessive interest rates and force users to pay by blackmailing and harassing them. Apple has prohibited and removed these apps from the App Store, but they may still be installed on your iPhone and running. You must delete any of these apps if you have downloaded them. Learn the names of these apps and how they operated the fraud.
Why Apple banned these apps?
- Apple has taken action to remove certain apps from the Indian App Store. These apps were engaging in unethical behaviour, such as impersonating financial institutions, demanding high fees, and threatening borrowers. Here are the titles of these apps, as well as what Apple has said about their suspension.
- Following user concerns, Apple removed six loan apps from the Indian App Store. Loan apps include White Kash, Pocket Kash, Golden Kash, Ok Rupee, and others.
- According to multiple user reviews, certain apps seek unjustified access to users’ contact lists and media. These apps also charge exorbitant fees that are not necessitated. Furthermore, companies have been found to engage in unethical tactics such as charging high-interest rates and “processing fees” equal to half the loan amount.
- Some lending app users have reported being harassed and threatened for failing to return their loans on time. In some circumstances, the apps threatened the user’s contacts if payment was not completed by the deadline. According to one user, the app company threatened to produce and send false photographs of her to her contacts.
- These loan apps were removed from the App Store, according to Apple, because they broke the norms and standards of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. These apps were discovered to be falsely claiming financial institution connections.
Issue of Fake loan apps on the App Store
- The App Store and our App Review Guidelines are designed to ensure we provide our users with the safest experience possible,” Apple explained. “We do not tolerate fraudulent activity on the App Store and have strict rules against apps and developers who attempt to game the system.
- In 2022, Apple blocked nearly $2 billion in fraudulent App Store sales. Furthermore, it rejected nearly 1.7 million software submissions that did not match Apple’s quality and safety criteria and cancelled 428,000 developer accounts due to suspected fraudulent activities.
- The scammers also used heinous tactics to force the loanees to pay. According to reports, the scammers behind the apps gained access to the user’s contact list as well as their images. They would morph the images and then scare the individual by sharing their fake nude photos with their whole contact list.
Dangerous financial fraud apps have surfaced on the App Store
- TechCrunch acquired a user review from one of these apps. “I borrowed an amount in a helpless situation, and a day before the repayment due date, I got some messages with my picture and my contacts in my phone saying that repay your loan or they will inform our contacts that you are not paying the loan,” it said.
- Sandhya Ramesh, a journalist from The Print, recently tweeted a screenshot of a direct message she got. A victim’s friend told a similar story in the message.
- TechCrunch contacted Apple, who confirmed that the apps had been removed from the App Store for breaking the Apple Developer Program License Agreement and guidelines.
Recently, some users have claimed that some quick-loan applications, such as White Kash, Pocket Kash, and Golden Kash, have appeared on the Top Finance applications chart in recent days. These apps necessitate unauthorised and intrusive access to users’ contact lists and media. According to hundreds of user evaluations, these apps charged exorbitantly high and useless fees. They used unscrupulous techniques such as demanding “processing fees” equal to half the loan amount and charging high-interest rates. Users were also harassed and threatened with restitution. If payments were not made by the due date, the lending applications threatened to notify users’ contacts. According to one user, the app provider even threatened to generate phoney nude images of her and send them to her contacts.
Authors: Himanshi Singh, Associate, Policy & Advocacy Team CyberPeace