Trap story of illegal credit service

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The public should consider the legal and logical aspects to avoid illegal credit services

Si, 49, was disappointed, angry, and upset when he learned that his nephew had received a drone message mentioning his uncle’s name.

What started as a small money loan from a financial technology (fintech) lender eventually resulted in the SI family being trapped and threatened with death by the moneylender.

“Tell SI that if he doesn’t pay his loan by that midday, I’ll kill his whole family. I will post his photo as a refugee Short messaging services (SMS) threaten SI’s nephew T.

At the Special Economic Crime Directorate of the Jakarta National Criminal Police Department, SI and T waited on October 21 for an investigation into their reported illegal online lending case.

Related News: Illegal Online Lenders Operate Outside the Financial Services System: OJK

SI wasn’t offended when he threatened to pay off his loan, but he was furious when he found out that the lender had threatened all of his family members too.

Fortunately, he did not commit suicide as was the case with a housewife with the initials WPS from Wonogiri. However, both of them are victims of illegal online lending. The application enables users to borrow money of various amounts quickly.

Economic needs forced SI to seek credit through lending without knowing the difference between legal and illegal means. All he knew was that the online loan process was easy and quick and the money was deposited into the account instantly.

Little did he know that for the Credit Kilat application he was using, he had to enter his personal information, cell phone number, identity card number (NIK) and the emergency number from his contacts.

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When filling out the emergency number, SI entered his nephew’s number without his knowledge. An emergency number is required so that lenders can contact the borrower when the cell phone number is inactive.

In less than five minutes, SI received the loan amount in his bank account. However, of the total of 1.4 million rupees applied for, he received only 925,000 rupees.

In addition, the term of the installment, which was originally 91 days, changed immediately to seven days after the loan funds were deposited into the account.

Related news: AFPI supports police crackdown on illegal online lenders

Fraud

Feeling like it had been fooled, SI did not know where to inquire or whom to contact, as the loan application it downloaded did not provide consumer service or loan cancellation features.

Since he had already received the money, SI did not pay much attention. He planned to return the loan money when it was due, that was on the seventh day.

However, as early as the fifth day after receiving the money, SI received a number of instant messages and calls from the loan application. In these messages, he was asked to return the loan money immediately. Terror was perpetrated in the messages and calls slamming from different numbers every day.

The climax came on the seventh day when SI was surprised to receive a message from his nephew stating that he had received a message threatening that her family would be killed if SI fails to pay the loan.

SI suspects that not only his nephew, but also 300 other phone contacts stored on his cell phone may have received similar messages.

SI immediately regretted his decision to impulsively borrow money from the loan application. He doesn’t want to burden his family by borrowing money from them, but has let his family down because of the death threats in the loan application.

“The public needs to be really vigilant when looking for a loan. If you borrow money from people you know, your family or your cousin, they are not going to threaten or intimidate you,” he said.

Related news: Illegal online lending firm in Yogyakarta searched, 83 employees detained
Police action

Based on its experience, SI urged the public not to hesitate to report threats from illegal lenders to the police. Reports of fraud and threats of illegal lending are followed up by the Special Economic Crime Directorate of the National Criminal Police Department.

Since 2020, the criminal investigation department has been taking action against the police for public reports on this illegal online loan. Police confirmed 371 police reports of illicit lending from across the region. Of that number, only 91 cases have been cleared up, eight cases are already in the process of being tried and the rest are still being investigated.

The Specialized White Collar Crime Director, Brigadier General Helmy Santika, noted that the investigation into the illegal loan case had different characteristics for which the process could possibly be different.

Related news: OJK shares six tips for preventing financial fraud

Santika urged that the investigation be carried out properly and correctly. The police would expose the entire scheme of illegal credit from blowing up text messages to picking up their desks, and so would the founders of this company.

Additionally, this technology-based non-banking financial service is helping lenders move. You can check your application from abroad.

In June 2021, the National Police’s criminal police uncovered the case of the RPCepat illegal loan application. Five perpetrators were arrested despite the fact that the two main players who became investors, particularly Chinese citizens, were still on the run.

In July 2021, eight perpetrators of illegal lending under the name of Cinta Damai Savings and Loans Cooperative (KSP) were arrested. According to the results of the investigation, this Cinta Damai cooperative is affiliated with several other KSPs, including KSP Hidup Hijau, KSP Tur Saku, KSP Pulau Bahagia, and several other online credit facilities.

Seven illegal debt collection agencies were arrested in several areas in Jakarta in October 2021. Of these seven perpetrators, one was a foreigner with the initials ZJ, who is on the police’s list of refugees (DSB).

During the police investigation it was found that the perpetrators of the illegal lending used a fictitious company (PT) or savings bank cooperative (KSP) to submit an illegal loan application.

The criminal police also found an application at subsidiaries.

As a result of this application, a housewife in Wonogiri decided to hang herself because she was in debt due to 23 loan applications she did not know about.

On October 22nd, police arrested the illegal lending perpetrators, who benefited from the establishment of PT or KSP, to process their illegal loan application.

The suspect named JS, who was arrested by police officers, is a financier as well as an intermediary of financiers of Chinese citizens for the purpose of obtaining an illegal loan.

“JS is an intermediary for Chinese citizens interested in investing in this illegal loan. She is also a recruiter to find the chairman of KSP and director of this fictional PT, ”informed Santika.

Related news: Government has blocked access to 4,873 illegal fintech content since 2018

Legal and logical aspects

The Head of Public Relations of the National Police Public Relations Department, Senior Commissioner, Ahmad Ramadhan noted that the increase in the number of illegal loan cases has become a particular concern of the National Police when conducting law enforcement.

The National Police have responded to President Joko Widodo, who expressed concern about the problem of illegal credit, which is causing significant damage and causing unrest in the community.

Ramadhan noted that the most important aspect in dealing with this case, along with law enforcement efforts, is preventive efforts.

Preventive measures can be taken as part of community building. Members of society should be aware of the dangers of illegal credit and avoid them in the future.

Individuals looking to borrow money from credit institutions should check the legality of their providers on the Financial Services Authority (OJK) website.

Related news: Ministry blocks 151 unlicensed fintech P2P lenders

Around 161 legal lenders are registered in the OJK. If an online loan provider is not registered then this should be ignored.

In addition, prevention should be implemented in the form of logical aspects. The public should not be easily tempted by loan offers. You should also be notified when the loan provider requests permission to access cell phone data, including users’ contact numbers.

This data access is an illegal gateway used by illegal lenders to collect debts through bullying and defamation and forcing customers to pay their loan.

Access to this data is also a way to share information about loan offers with other people.

“The public should consider the legal and logical aspects in order to avoid illegal lending,” stressed Ramadhan.

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