How To Fight, Stop Loan Shark Harassment

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How To Fight, Stop Loan Shark Harassment
An LCredit Customer being cyber harassed for loan related issues, a typical example of loan shark harassment

Loan shark harassment in Nigeria have become a predominant topic of discussion especially after the ugly Covid 19 pandemic crisis that shook the entire globe and threw millions of people into the jobless circle with the resultant effect of many being unable to cater for their immediate needs.

How To Stop Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria
How To Stop Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria

Evolution Of Loan Apps And Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria

Many families have consequently resorted to patronising loan apps for quick emergency funds or payday cash advance loans in order to meet urgent needs. Many of the loan apps advertising their wares as yrgent online cash without the need of collateral, documentation or physical presence in their office to get a loan, have gotten many borrowers trapped, being unaware that they were dealing with “potential loan shark harassment in Nigeria” many of whom would later come out to exose their true pictures.

Loan shark harassment in Nigeria is further made possible due to the largely unregulated digital lending industry in the country, no thanks to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other financial regulatory authorities who have largely failed in their constitutional roles to protect borrowers from these dare devil loan sharks, pretending to be legitimate loan app, who daily harass their victims, and compromise their data privacy which they swore to protect.

How To Fight, Stop Loan Shark Harassment
An LCredit Customer being cyber harassed for loan related issues, a typical example of a loan shark harassment

A recent Punch Editorial report states as follow:

The recent clampdown by regulators and law enforcement agencies on the activities of illegal online loan sharks operations points to the deteriorating economic situation in Nigeria. Tellingly, it reiterates the weakness of the Central Bank of Nigeria in asserting its writ as the highest financial sector regulatory agency in charge of the monetary flow and lending in the country. Also in focus is the regulatory efficiency of the Corporate Affairs Commission, the National Information Technology Development Agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

In March, the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Task Force of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council, Babatunde Irukera, said the commission had frozen no fewer than 30 bank accounts operated by illegal loan organisations. (These are  Irukera said that the commission had engaged Google and Apple Store to take down some loan applications from their sites, noting, however, that there were certain processes required for that to happen. And to avoid and limit the unintended consequences of the clampdown on legal lenders, he said that the commission engaged three major loan companies whose businesses had been adversely affected by the commission’s raid.

Clearly, due to the parlous state of the economy and the failure of the agencies concerned to efficiently regulate Nigeria’s technological space, the illegal online lenders have been able to thrive. (And has constituted themselves into loan shark harassment in Nigeria, daily hurting and inflicting terrible pains to their customers and borrowers, some of whom have threatened suicide in recent reports). This is dangerous; the relevant agencies should quickly clean up.

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How To Stop Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria

How Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria Started

The regime of loan shark harassment in Nigeria came into force due to the proliferation of urgent quick cash loan apps and instant, fast approval lending platforms as a means of raising emergency funds which became occasioned by the dismal economic downturn in the country, joblessness and resulting poverty have changed the entire borrowing dynamics. Faceless loan sharks hosted on Google Play Store and some on App Store, some of them owned by phony foreign Chinese shylocks have flooded the digital space and swindling poor and innocent Nigerians of their hard earned cash in form of loan credit.

Online loan shark harassment have become so common and are preying on Nigerians, leading some to commit suicide. Their modus operandi, according to a Punch Report is to give seemingly cheap credit to impoverished citizens, ostensibly under less-than-stringent, tempting conditions, some of which defy the basic canons of lending. In reality, both the pricing of the loans that lack full disclosure and the lax terms and conditions are all subterfuges to hoodwink unsuspecting beneficiaries to take the bait. In the end, the victims realise too late, the full extent of their burden when repayment starts.

There is the imperative of interrogating how the country descended to this mess. Bluntly, it is hardship. The unpleasant trend of citizens abjectly borrowing for basic consumption from unscrupulous loan firms, who mete out degrading treatment to them when they default, comes from privation among the populace.

Although some of the affected persons are victims of their own greed, the bitter reality is that it is increasingly becoming difficult for many Nigerians to survive due to the battered economy. Businesses are collapsing and industries are shutting down due to the harsh economic climate. Some 21.76 million persons were unemployed by late 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria: An Explainer

Loan shark harassment is the act whereby a loan app, digital platform or lending organization offers credit loans at extremely high interest rates, has extremely strict and unethical loan recovery methos, and additionally enjoys using threatening, shaming and defamatory messages to its borrowers and customers, including their phone contact list and family members and generally operates outside the ambit of the law.

With the evolution of digital lending, loan shark harassment in Nigeria have become an everyday practice to the detriment of borrowers in the country. These platforms have constituted themselves into thin gods and glorify in your shame by harassing and embarassing you to your contact list and on social media.

Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria: How They Operate

One of the modus operandi of the practice of loan shark harassment in Nigeria includes the sending of blackmails, defamatory messages and threats to their customers, their family members and their contacts’ list involving a blatant, unprovoked invasion of their data privacy. Even before your loan is due, loan sharks start warning you and sending threat of impending defamatory messages to your contacts and family members if you don’t pay on due date.

Most of these lending apps’ staffs lack communication ethics as they speak in dehumanising manners to customers, calling and sending shame and defamatory messages to their contact list and referring to them as “criminals”. This should be completely condemned and pronounced unethical and unacceptable in sane climes like Nigeria.

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How To Stop Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria

The following are ways loan shark harassment in Nigeria are being practiced and how it can be identified.

  1. Accessing the contact’s number and picture stored in mobile phone.
  2. Misuse of contact numbers and pictures saved in mobile.
  3. Invading customers’ data privacy and sending defamatory and threatening messages to them and their contact list
  4. Extremely high interest rate and penalties.
  5. Deduction of processing and/or security deposit before loan processing
  6. Interest deducted before providing the loan.
  7. Constant harassment and threats on customers
  8. Online Harassment.
  9. Harsh and unethical means of recovery.
  10. Use of rude and derogatory statement by loan app staff on customers

5 Ways To Protect Yourself, Fight Against Loan Shark Harassment 

  1. Check for lenders contact information like phone number, email address and physical address.
  2. Verify the online reviews by customers given for the lender.
  3. Check the professional reviews on trust worthy lenders.
  4. Make sure the loan app has been properly licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
  5. Review the app permissions regularly and give access permissions ONLY tor the purpose of the loan applied for.

How To Stop Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria

The truth is that your contacts “safely stored in your mobile phone” which you used in downloading the loan app and securing the lending from the app platform, is actually “your collateral and guarantee for loan repayment.” If you want to apply for a loan and you do not have any contact in your phone, we assure you that no lending app in Nigeria will approve your request.

After you approve a loan, your phone contacts will immediately be downloaded safely on the loan app’s external database against your name, BVN and other profile details and even though youn later delete or uninstall the loan app, it makes little difference. You stand in their mercy.

But you can still stop them from further harassing you and accessing your phone contacts and other details you have granted permission to.  To stop loan shark harassment, simply scroll down to app permission and stop loan apps from accessing your contacts, sms, photo gallery and storages on your phone, they won’t be able to reach out to your contacts anymore or post your pictures or harass you any longer. They would only have your number and have only you to deal with.

If you are using an Android device and you have mistakenly downloaded a fraudulent app, then this is for you.

If you are indebted to any of those illegal loan platforms, and you are afraid of defamatory messages to your contacts.

Please kindly go to settings in your android phone, click on app and notifications. Scroll down to app permission and deny them access to your contacts, sms, photo gallery and storages on your phone, they won’t be able to reach out to your contacts anymore and harass you.

They would only have your number and have only you to deal with.

However you should never assume the loan sharks don’t have a copy of your contacts prior to you cutting permission.

So they have access to a historical document. That is not perfect but still a treasure trove of information.

Are they acting immoraly and illegally, perhaps. Are they using a third party to skirt the laws intent. Probably. What they likely are counting on is the value of the data exceeds the risk.

However ust ensure you make repayment of any loan you have borrowed and uninstal the relevant app and you can be free from any further loan shark harassment in Nigeria.

What happens when you don’t pay a loan shark?

What happens if you can’t pay back a loan shark? Loan sharks ensure they get their money back through the threat and use of force. “If you don’t pay the interest rate, they’ll break your arm or break your leg,” says an analyst. “Your interest keeps compounding, so it gets to be a very dangerous situation. Though they can’t take you to court, but they can harass you severely online and expose all your data, photos, bank details to the public to force you to pay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About ‘How To Stop Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria?’

We have attempted to answer a few questions on how you can stop loan shark harassment in Nigeria.

1. Can You Stop Loan Shark Harassment In Nigeria?

The simple answer to this question is yes! The easiest way to stop loan shark harassment in Nigeria is to pay any outstanding loan you have previously borrowed from any digital lender. Once you have paid, ensure you don’t collect any more loan from the loan sharks again. There are many reputable loan apps in Nigeria you can patronize.

depends on what action you have previously taken! Provided you have once downloaded the loan app and have collected a loan from the platform. You can no longer stop the app from accessing your contact because it is already safely stored in the app’s external database. Even though you later uninstall the app, it is still with them. The best you can do is stop collecting their loan and repay any outsanding loan to avoid any further harrassment, threat or blackmail. Then uninstall the app.

2. How do I get loan apps to stop calling my contacts? How do I stop loan apps from accessing my contacts?

To stop loan apps from accessing your contacts or calling your contacts and family members, do the following:

  1. Don’t download any loan app on your phone.
  2. If you have already downloaded a loan app, don’t approve or collect any loan from the platform.
  3. If you have already collected a loan from the platform, delete and uninstall the app immedialy from your phone and do not reinstall or collect any further loan from the credit platform.
  4. Only download and patronize reputable loan apps that will not send shame or defamatory messages to your contacts, even if they have your phone contact access.

3. Can a loan app access my contacts if uninstalled?

A loan app cannot access your contact list if you already uninstalled the app from your phone. However it’s likely your contacts have been downloaded and stored in the app’s database outside your phone if you ever collected a loan from them. To stop loan apps from accessing your phone contacts again, safely uninstall the app and do not patronize them anymore.

4. Can loan apps come to my house?

A loan app cannot come to your house. However if you already downloaded their app and collected their loan, they can access your contact list, databases, BVN, profile details and can report you to the credit bureau and blacklist your name against your BVN if you default on your loan. To stop loan apps from accessing your phone contacts again, safely uninstall the app and do not patronize them anymore.

5. How do I stop messages from loan apps?

To stop messages from digital lenders or stop loan apps from accessing your phone contacts again, safely uninstall the app and do not patronize them anymore. Also if you are owing any outstanding loan, pay down and let the app be aware that you have paid your loan to update your records.

6. How do I stop loan shark harassment in Nigeria, and deprive them access from my contacts?

  1. Don’t download any loan app on your phone.
  2. If you have already downloaded a loan app, don’t approve or collect any loan from the platform.
  3. If you have already collected a loan from the platform, pay back any outsanding balance, delete and uninstall the app immedialy from your phone and do not reinstall or collect any further loan from the credit platform.
  4. Only download and patronize reputable loan apps that will not send shame or defamatory messages to your contacts, even if they have your phone contact access.

7. Can Denying Loan Apps Permission Stop Them From Harassing me, Calling or Messaging My Contacts?

YES. Once you deny a loan app permission to access your contact list, you automatically stop them from accessing, calling or messaging your contacts and thereby prevent any further harassment from the loan sharks. However if you deny any lending platform permission from accessing your contact, your loan will NOT be approved and you won’t get any funding from the loan app. So you have to decide on which one is more important to you.

8. How Do I Prevent Fake Loan Apps Like Sokoloan, LCredit and others From Harrasing, Calling Or Messaging My Contacts?

To stop loan apps from accessing your phone contacts generally or specifically stop scam platforms like Sokoloan or LCredit from messaging your list, do not download their apps on your phone. Do not approve or collect any loan from them. Do not give them permission on your phone to access your contacts. That essentially means you cannot have access to collect their loans.