Google Play Store often sees the presence of shady, fake apps that are capable of harming users and have to eventually remove to maintain the privacy and safety of users. As part of its recent app cleansing practice, Google has removed several suspicious loan apps that is the guise of offering quick loans harassed users, leading to the deaths of many. Read on to know more about this. Also Read - Google Assistant can now locate your iPhone, gets more smart features
Google takes action against shady loans apps in India
Various personal loan apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. Hundreds of loan apps were put under review following reports of abuse by users and government agencies. The reports suggested that the loan apps violated the Play Store’s safety policies. Also Read - Latest Android 12 leak shows tons of never seen before features; here's a look
Google, in a blog post, said, “We have reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India, based on flags submitted by users and government agencies. The apps that were found to violate our user safety policies were immediately removed from the Store, and we have asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations. Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice. In addition, we will continue to assist the law enforcement agencies in their investigation of this issue.” Also Read - Google Chrome 90 update now available: What’s new
While some of them have been removed, developers of the other apps are required to submit proof that the apps are in compliance with the app store’s policies.
This comes in despite the fact that Google has banned loan apps from the Play Store that require users to repay the amount within 60 days or less.
There is no word on the number of loan apps that have been removed but there are a few known names, including 10MinuteLoan and Ex-Money. The apps offered small to mid-sized loans to users on a short-term basis without the hassle of providing a lot of documents. However, required users to pay a hefty processing fee. It is also suggested that the apps probably had Chinese links and stored user data without their permission.
When users failed to repay the loans in the required short period, agents on behalf of the apps followed illicit practices to extract the money, including harassment and threats. Several reports have also suggested that people have committed suicide upon failing to repay the loan amount. A report by Indian Express suggests that a 23-year-old man killed himself due to the harassment he faced by a money lending app.
In addition to this, bank accounts (with close to $58 million) were frozen due to alleged scams on the part of around 30 loan apps.
To recall, back in August 2020, two money-lending apps Moneed and Momo were found leaking data of hundreds of millions of Indian users. This throws light on how unsafe such apps are. We hope Google is now looking into this and coming up with ways to safeguard the users.