HYDERABAD: Notorious for their harassment methods that forced some people to end their lives, loan app recovery agents in Telangana have now hit a new low.
In a recent instance, the tormentors created WhatsApp groups with obscene titles like ‘R**di’, ‘Desi Aunty’ and ‘Desi Girl’ and circulated a woman loanee’s morphed nude photos among her phone contacts for the recovery of loan dues.
So far, the loan app recovery agents have harassed women by threatening to morph their pictures and defame them. “But now, they have actually started doing it to harass people who take loans on instant apps,” police said. Several such loan apps were under police radar last year for their links with Chinese nationals and companies. Six persons took their lives in Telangana last year after being harassed by agents recruited by these instant loan apps.
The woman, who resides in Rachakonda police commissionerate, approached cops urging them to immediately initiate action against the offenders for humiliating her by circulating her morphed nude photos on WhatsApp groups. In December 2021, she took a loan of Rs 4,000 from an instant loan app. During the first week of May, she received a call from a person claiming to be a loan app executive telling her to pay Rs 8,200 and that she had paid only Rs 4,500.
Despite the assurance from the woman that she would return the balance amount, the loan app recovery agents started exerting pressure on her to immediately clear the dues by repeatedly sending her messages.
Morphed photos shared
Much to her horror, their harassment reached an extreme level a few days ago when the loan sharks created multiple WhatsApp groups with her mobile phone contacts as members. “Initially, they posted my photo and threatened to morph it with obscene content and make it viral on the internet if I fail to pay the dues,” she told police. Subsequently, the offenders started sharing morphed nude photos with objectionable titles.
Confirming that they have received a complaint from the aggrieved woman, Rachakonda police said their teams are working to nab the accused. “Now that some persons have started harassing borrowers, we are on the job to trace the tormentors who are acting as virtual recovery agents,” Rachakonda assistant commissioner of police (cyber crime) S Harinath told STOI.