VIJAYAWADA: In the wake of increasing number of complaints of alleged harassment by the online mobile-app based private lending agencies, the Andhra Pradesh Police and Crime Investigation Department (CID) on Wednesday released a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for their personnel to deal with such cases. Director General of Police (DGP) D Gautam Sawang said that the department was gearing up to tackle the crimes reported in the digital space such as micro finance and online mobile app based private lending agencies.
“We came to know that the lending agencies have become a cause of concern as most of the victims are women from middle class and lower middle class. Taking a serious view of the matter, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy reviewed the situation on Tuesday and directed us to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, and within 24 hours, the SOP was drafted by the CID,” the DGP said.
So far, 22 complaints have been registered in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur in connection with alleged harassment by mobile-app based private lending agencies. “We have identified 87 errant mobile apps, which are allegedly harassing the loan borrowers over delay in repayment.
Initially, we will contact the Internet Service Provider (ISPs) and ask them to take steps for making the mobile apps dysfunctional in the State. We will also register cases against the private lending agencies for harassing the loan borrowers based on complaints,” Sawang explained. Steps will be taken to sensitise the police personnel about the mobile app-based private lending agencies, how to respond and deal with the complaints filed by the public and course of action to be followed, he said.
Problematic digital instant loan apps
(Data as per SOP released by Police and CID)
Snapit, Rapid Rupee, Ready Cash, Loan Bazaar, Loanbro, Cashpost, Rupeego, Cash Port, RsRushPro, Fortune Bag, Rupee Loan, Robo Cash, CashTM, Udhaar Loan, Credit Free, Quick Cash, Kissht, Loan Cloud, Insta Rupee, Flash Rupee, Master Melon, Cashtrain, GetRupee, ePay Loan, Panda, I Credit, Easy Loan, RupeeClick, OCash, Cashmap
Whom to approach for action
An FIR may be filed under Section 509 of IPC at a local police station
Further, a complaint may be filed with the RBI ombudsman under Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019
Section of law applicable
Section 509, IPC (Fair Practices Code); Misbehaving towards women customers, Sec 509, 354 (C) 354 (D) IPC and Section 66 (E) IT Act