From coercion to swindle to China link: The menace of rising loan app scams


When a 22-year-old Zepto employee Sohail Shaikh recently needed some money, a “Magicloan” ad on YouTube for instant micro loans came to his mind. On April 24, he ended up taking a loan of Rs 6,000 from two apps, “Magicloan” and “cashmarket”.

“I was supposed to pay them back on April 30. I would get my salary on May 1, so I thought I would return it a day later. Their (loan apps) people however started calling me on April 29. I told them about the payment deadline but it didn’t matter — they were abusive,” Shaikh told The Indian Express.

His ordeal had just started, though. “A day later, some of my colleagues and relatives called me saying they received a photograph of my wife with obscene things scrawled on it. I was shocked as to how could they get her photo and their numbers. And then I realised they had access to all my phone data. I had to explain to everyone that I had taken a small loan and these people…

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