Predatory iOS and Android Loan Apps Received 15 Million Installs Before Removal

Apps found on both the App Store and the Google Play Store were found to be providing illegal loans to people according to a new report. These apps have been downloaded about 15 million times with all things having been considered and taken into account, and they are trapping unsuspecting users in a cycle of debt due to extortive practices.

A total of about 286 apps were discovered, and with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that a majority of them were found on the Play Store. 251 were Android apps, with 35 being available on iOS. After they received reports, Google and Apple were quick to remove all of the apps from their platforms. In spite of the fact that this is the case, the damage has already been done with tens of millions of users having been defrauded of their funds.

What’s worse is that these users were mostly located in developing countries. These countries include Uganda, India, Colombia, Philippines, Pakistan. Nigeria as well as Mexico, some titles of the apps include: AchaPaisa, AdaCash, AddMoney, BaseWallet, Bear Loan, Bucredit, CashNow, Dutta Rupee, Fast Coin, Flying Cash, HappyLoan, LibreCash, LoanClub, MobiLoan, PCash, Pinjam Tunai, RupeeStar, SkyLoan, Vidong, and Wecash. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that predatory loans apps are unfortunately common, and they pose a distinct thread to consumer safety.

The apps usually ask users to provide expansive permissions on their devices which make them even less safe than might have been the case otherwise. They then start using these permissions to begin uploading sensitive data to their servers, and they also have extremely high interest rates for the people that end up taking loans from them.

Users are often forced to grant these permissions, otherwise they may not be given the chance to get a loan. Such apps are preying on those that are outside of the traditional financial system and don’t have any alternatives to turn to. They are increasing in number, and removing them after they have done grievous harm may not cut it anymore. Apple and Google need to do better at keeping these apps outside of their platforms and stores.

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