Eliminating the illegal credit trap – ANTARA News
“Ting”, a short message or SMS that rang on Antara’s cell phone, turned out to be an offer for a cash loan.
Most people often receive messages from unfamiliar phone numbers that make great deals.
“We offer 5 million rupees to 500 million rupees with simple requirements. Contact us on WA 081XXXXXXXXX,” read an offer via SMS received on Antara’s cell phone.
Some loan offers offer attractive options, such as quick and easy processing even without collateral.
However, due to the high volume of incoming SMS messages with similar content, mobile phone users sometimes get “lazy” to open the short messages.
People who are not familiar with communication technology and are not aware of the legal aspects can easily be outwitted by such offers.
It should be noted that online loan companies are not entirely illegal. Loan transactions must be registered with the Financial Services Authority (OJK) as an official legal entity.
Related News: Financial Education Needed To Reduce Illegal Loan Cases Online
According to the OJK, as of August 31, 2021, there were 68.41 million borrowers of official online loans with a national total of 249.938 trillion rupees.
In addition, up to 106 peer-to-peer financial technology companies are registered and licensed with the agency by October 6, 2021.
The public must remain vigilant and cautious in using the credit services. The consumer should pay attention to the legality of the companies.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) also pointed out the dangers of opting for illegal online loans.
“I heard that the people from the lower classes who took out illegal online loans were deceived and faced high interest rates,” noted Jokowi in his remarks on the occasion of the Virtual Innovation Day 2021, which took place here on Monday (October 11th ) took place.
The head of state stated that the development of financial technology should be accompanied in order to develop a better economy for Indonesia.
Jokowi called on the OJK and financial technology companies to ensure a balanced spread of financial and digital literacy among people in order to promote inclusive economic growth.
“Financial inclusion should provide broader access to people, especially the lower middle class, in order to reduce social inequality and reach societies that have not used the services of the traditional financial system,” Jokowi said.
Illegal credit trap
The OJK found that people’s need for an easy loan is a factor in the proliferation of illegal online loans.
Aside from the pressing need due to financial difficulties, other factors driving people to take advantage of illegal online loans are the poor financial literacy of members of the community.
The simple uploading of applications and pages on the Internet or mobile phone operating system is also abused by the illegal borrower.
The OJK spoke of having stopped thousands of lending transactions since 2018.
At least 404 illegal loans were suspended in 2018. Meanwhile, 1,493 illegal loans were closed in 2019 as well.
During 2020 and through October 2021, 1,026 and 593 unregistered loans were suspended.
The agency suspended 3,516 parties involved in illegal loans within four years.
In addition, the agency received a total of 19,711 complaints from people about illegal loans. 47.03 percent were serious violations, 52.97 percent were moderate to minor violations.
Critical violations include unsolicited withdrawals, threats to divulge personal information, and intimidation of all contacts on borrowers’ cell phones.
Worse still, the debt collection was carried out with harsh words, including sexual harassment.
Related news: West Jakarta Police are investigating two reports of illegal online lending
Avoid Illegal Loans
People can recognize the characteristics of illegal borrowers, such as: B. Often high interest rates, high fees, unlimited fines and intimidation of borrowers.
People seeking credit need to understand the legality of only borrowing cash from registered and licensed lenders.
To check the legality of online lenders, you can contact 157 or send a message through the WhatsApp application on 081157157157.
People can also check it out by emailing [email protected]
On the website www.ojk.go.id, the OJK also presents a list of the official credit institutions that have received approval.
In addition, people should install an official loan application on their mobile phone through an official provider.
Law enforcement officials and the government have acted quickly to handle illegal online loan cases that have trapped multiple people.
The Indonesian Police Department’s Special White-collar Crime Director, Brigadier General Helmy Santika, said that the investigations into illegal loans have different characteristics as the cases are different crimes.
From 2020 to 2021, the police received 371 reports of illegal loans.
Of that number, up to 91 cases have been uncovered, eight cases are in the litigation phase while the rest are under investigation.
“The police are evaluating illegal credit cases, derived from SMS blasting and intimidation to harsh debt collection cases, and are not limited to just financial credit,” added Helmy.
Police have urged people to be wary of lenders who offer quick financial loans with simple requirements.
From the Consumer Protection Act to the Trade Act and the Pornography Act, there are several regulations that can be violated in the case of illegal credit.
Political, Legal and Security Coordinating Minister Mahfud MD noted that criminal and civil action can be taken in the event of illegal credit incidents.
To protect the public, the government will also impose a moratorium on approvals for online loan providers.
The OJK also called for a moratorium on financial technology licenses for online loan transactions.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology will implement a moratorium on the issuance of electronic system operators for new loan service applications.
“The government will take decisive steps to rid the digital space of illegal and unregistered lending practices that have had serious repercussions,” said Minister of Communications and Information, Johnny G. Plate.
The quick reaction of the law enforcement authorities and the moratorium are intended to nip the problem of SMS with “fake” loan offers in the bud.
More importantly, don’t trick others into being fooled and ensnared by illegal online loans that are a hassle.
People need to take preventative measures by improving their knowledge of digital applications and the legality of lenders.
Maturity and caution in using digital devices and managing finances are critical to avoiding the illicit credit trap.
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