Police displaying arrested loan app scamsters and the materials used by them in Tirupur on Friday
Police displaying arrested loan app scamsters and the materials used by them in Tirupur on Friday

Tirupur police bust five-member loan app scammer gang

The accused, identified by police as Mohammed Ashkar (24), Mohammed Shabi (36), Mohammed Saleem (37), Anishmon (33) and Ashraf (46), all hailing from different parts of Kerala had lured people to borrow money by downloading various loan apps.

COIMBATORE: Tirupur cyber-crime police on Friday busted a gang of scamsters involved in app-based loan services, who extorted money from borrowers by posting their morphed photos on social media.

The accused, identified by police as Mohammed Ashkar (24), Mohammed Shabi (36), Mohammed Saleem (37), Anishmon (33) and Ashraf (46), all hailing from different parts of Kerala had lured people to borrow money by downloading various loan apps.

“They used to call up to 3,700 people across Tamil Nadu every day over phone offering to provide loans ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 50,000. They would hack their phones to access contacts and photos of borrowers, only to extort money by threatening to circulate their morphed photos,” police said.

Their fraud came to light, after a woman from Pongupalayam in Perumanallur near Avinashi lodged a complaint with police. She took a loan of Rs 3,000 by downloading ‘paisahome’ app on December 15 and promptly returned the amount.

Since then, she was flooded with messages from different loan app services to lend money. Again on December 28, she took a total loan of Rs 15,000 from four different loan apps; Speed Loan (Nigeria), Candy Pay (Indonesia), Easy Loan (Nigeria) and Lucky Money (China).

Even before the due date, the complainant began to receive messages asking to pay the lent amount, failing which she was threatened of posting her morphed obscene photos on social media.

Police traced the scamsters to be functioning from a rental office in Khaderpet. A police raid led to the seizure of 500 sim cards, 30 credit cards, six modems, three laptops, 11 sim boxes and other items. Police suspect the fraudsters to have links abroad and efforts were taken to freeze their bank accounts.

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