7 Days Loan App Harassment in Nigeria [What to Do]

Some of the things you look out for before taking a loan are the interest rate, repayment tenure, and the lender’s reputation. Unfortunately, some loan apps will lure you in with false ads on social media only for you to find out that all the promises were fake. Now, you have a loan of 40 to 60% interest rate and only 7 days to pay up. On the 5th day, the loan app comes knocking, calling you names and all. Well, this is the part you did not bargain for harassment, and we understand how embarrassing it can be, especially after the lender has been in touch with you family members and friends calling you a fraudster.

Getting harassed for a 7-day loan isn’t a new development. It has been there, and the likes of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), have been all out trying to curb the excesses of loan sharks in Nigeria.

Are You a Victim to 7 Days Loan App Harassment in Nigeria?

The FCCPC says that they’ve been able to curb loan app harassment by 80%. Perhaps the remaining 20% is the wave of loan app harassment we are still experiencing today. Hopefully, they are able to further cut down on the number, and ensure a better loan facility where there’ll be a better understanding between borrowers and lenders.

Moving on, let’s see if these scenarios sound like your experience.

Loan sharks are terrible, and we’ll just go through some of the experiences borrowers have experienced.

Sometimes, you are given a loan you never asked for, simply because you installed the app and provided your personal and bank information. And the loan app thinks your credit history is good, so they go ahead and process a loan without your consent.

In another scenario, you applied for a loan of 10,000 naira as seen on the app to pay back 10,500 naira in 7 days. However the lender disburses only 5,500 naira, expecting you to pay back 10,800 after reducing the loan amount and taking most of the interest upfront in the name of card  binding and maintenance charges.

Let’s not even mention the extremely high interest rates you have to endure.

As if all these bad experiences are not enough, the loan app begins to harass and defame you from day 5 of 7 days, sending all manner of curses and unprofessional messages and threatening actions, including:

  • Sharing your adult photos online (since loan apps can access your photos).
  • Calling your contacts to tell them that you’re a scammer.
  • Designing a digital burial pamphlet and sharing it online with a tag like “Rest in Peace”.

Sometimes, their customer support may send you an email or WhatsApp messages with fake police invitation documents or a court order to intimidate. This is just a tactic meant to cajole debtors to pay up. Unfortunately, they sometimes send these letters to people who already cleared their debts, which can be embarrassing.

As if the 7 day loan app harassment is not enough, the moment you receive money in your bank account, they deduct far more than you owe. A lot of times, even after you have repaid your loan, the loan app keeps debiting your account with claims that you have not cleared your debt. No borrower deserves this treatment.

How is it So Easy for a Loan App to Access Your Contact?

The problem with most users is that they don’t go through the privacy policy when installing a loan app. A lot of these loan sharks have a privacy policy with one thing in common—they are all generic and not unique.

The privacy policy tells you all the information the app will collect from you, and if you are aware of some, you probably won’t want to install the app anymore.

Now, let’s talk about the information loan apps typically collect from you. Personal information such as your name, age, email address, phone number, personal description, marital status, photograph, username, NIN, and home address (such as utility bill). Bank information collected by OmegaLoan includes BVN (bank verification number), debit/credit card number, and bank account number.

When you install a loan app, information collected from your device, either with or without your permission, includes your installed apps, device ID, device type, IMEI, GPS information, device operating system, IP address, personal contact numbers, call logs, SMS logs, Facebook friends and other social media accounts, photos, and videos or other digital content. The lender can also contact someone in your phone list, SMS, call list, etc.

So, as long as you have granted these apps permission to access your contact, SMS, photos, etc., they can have access to the content.

So, how do I stop pesky loan apps from accessing my personal information if I no longer owe them?

Simple. Close your account with the loan app. You can contact them to delete your personal and bank information, then uninstall the app from your device.

Unfortunately,.merely clearing the app cache, data, and denying access to your gallery, contact, SMS, background data, etc., does not solve the problem.

Whatever personal information the loan app already has, they’ll hold on to that. Now, about your bank information, they have this already as you supplied your BVN and card details while signing up. The only way you can get it off their database is to directly contact them to delete your information. Most apps claim that by uninstalling their app, you’re deleting your information from their database but this is false. In their privacy policies, it is stated that you have the right to withdraw consent of your data.

Okay—enough with the rant. How can we fix this problem?

What to Do to Stop Loan App Harassment!

1. Report the violating loan app to Google Play Store

  • First, go to support.google.com/ googleplay Android policy violation report
  • Enter your name
  • Enter the application package name (example com.example.app)
  • Under Suspected Policy Violation, select Privacy Violation, Deception or Misrepresentation because this is where Google classifies loan apps
  • Under Violation Type, select User Data
  • Under Policy Violation Subtype, select Personal and Sensitive User Data
  • Under Where did you find the suspected policy violation? select While Using the app.
  • Under Is the application still available on Google Play? select Yes or No, as it applies. That’s all.

2. Notify the FCCPC

The FCCPC is looking for such loan apps to prosecute, delist them from their database, and also write Google Play Store to get rid of such apps. Unfortunately, even the FCCPC isn’t perfect. They also need your help.

Here’s an example. At the time of making this publication, a loan shark like WeCredit was delisted by the FCCPC. However, WeCredit app is still live on Google Play Store and people are still downloading and borrowing money from them.

That’s just that, though, and it doesn’t mean that the FCCPC is not working. It’s quite simple to complain to the FCCPC but make sure you have contacted the loan app about your problem and they failed to address it.

Below are simple steps anyone can take to report a shady Nigerian loan app to the FCCPC:

  • Go to complaints.fccpc.gov.ng/howToComplain
  • If it’s a new complaint, select New
  • If you have complained to the loan app, select Yes
  • If your complaint with the lender is up to 2 weeks, select Yes
  • If the loan app has not acknowledged your complaint, select No
  • Click Proceed to Complaint
  • Under Categories, select Digital Money Lenders
  • Enter your personal information, including your name, state, phone number and email
  • Click Save and Continue
  • File your complaint and submit to the FCCPC

Another method is to write the FCCPC through their email at lenderstaskforce@fccpc.gov.ng.

Make sure you include pictures of your conversations with the lender, and explain the problem in detail to help the agency serve you better.

3. Contact Your Bank in Person or Online

For the sake of convenience, we’d say handle the entire complaint online. However, it’s far better to contact your bank in person so the customer care can see your frustration and approach the problem seriously.

Let the bank know if you have been overcharged by the loan app, if you paid back your loan but the loan app claims you did not, etc.

What you should not do is run away from repaying your debt. It will affect your credit history, and in the future, most lenders and commercial banks won’t be willing to lend you money because of your risk profile. If they manage to, it’ll be a high interest rate since they see you as high risk. Your loan insurance fee can also go up as a result. You can check your credit history for free using firstcentralcreditbureau.com, a licensed credit bureau in Nigeria.

Avoid Loan Apps Without FCCPC License

It’s better to borrow from an FCCPC-licensed loan app whose app isn’t on Google Play Store or Apple App Store, for example, Credit Wallet, than an unlicensed or a delisted loan app, for example, WeCredit. At least, it’s easier to call a licensed app to order, and maybe even get refunds.

But when you’re dealing with a lender without license, you are at their mercy, especially if they initially had access to your personal and bank information, including your pictures, text messages, contact details, etc.

But seriously, if you’re owing these guys, pay up and save yourself the embarrassment. If you have had a terrible experience with a loan app, don’t forget to leave an honest review about the app to prevent other people from patronizing them.

Read Also: Is PalmPay’s Flexi Cash Loan Legit?

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