Google suspended 2,500 fraudulent loan apps on Play Store: FM Sitharaman

The government on Monday informed the Parliament that from April 2021 to July 2022, Google scrutinised around 3500 to 4000 loan lending apps and suspended or removed over 2500 fraudulent loan apps from its Play Store.

Google Play Store

When asked about the government’s measures to tackle the rising risks linked to fraudulent loan apps, including exorbitant interest rates and mental harassment, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a written response to the Lok Sabha, said that the government maintains ongoing collaboration with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other relevant regulators and stakeholders to curb fraudulent loan apps.

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Also read: Caught in deadly loan trap: How dubious lending apps caused 60 deaths

She said that the issue is consistently addressed and overseen during the meetings of the Financial Stability and Development Council, an inter-regulatory forum chaired by the finance minister.

FM Sitharaman said that Google has revised its policy for enforcing loan lending apps on the Play Store. According to the revised policy, only apps published by regulated entities or those collaborating with regulated entities are permitted on the Play Store.

She further said that the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (14C) under home affairs analyses digital lending apps on a regular basis. “Based on its analysis and complaints reported on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, 4C team analyses apps on various parameters, and reports such apps to ministry of electronics and information technology which are found suspicious, for blocking,” the answer read.

Also read: How to protect yourself from falling into instant loan apps trap? 6 Tips

The RBI has taken measures to enhance cybersecurity and financial literacy, including the implementation of the electronic-banking awareness programme (e-BAAT) focusing on fraud awareness, developing financial education framework in schools, undertaking financial literacy week, she said.

Additionally, efforts involve spreading cyber-crime awareness through various channels, including SMS, radio campaigns, and social media, as well as publishing handbooks for different audiences, the answer added.

MHA actively contributes to these initiatives by organising cyber safety and security awareness weeks in collaboration with states and union territories, FM added.

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