The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing (CCW) has launched an investigation into loan-lending smartphone apps that are accused of blackmailing their customers.
Barwaqt, PK Loan, Easy Loan, and Fast Loan are among the apps available. According to FIA, these apps charge a 2-6% markup on loans.
However, according to the Agency, these apps illegally gain access to personal data, including contacts, on clients’ smartphones and begin blackmailing them to pay a 40% markup instead. Furthermore, the borrowers threaten to leak their photos if they do not pay the additional markup.
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FIA also revealed that the teams behind these apps approach debtors and demand money from them under the guise of resolving issues, and that they primarily target women rather than men.
After multiple female victims filed complaints against the aforementioned apps, the FIA launched an investigation. It is unclear how these businesses provide loans and demand markups without being registered with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). It calls into question the country’s regulatory bodies.