When digital lenders approached Hyderabad-based techie P. Sunil in hordes, assuring him of easy cash, he installed as many as 35 apps on his smartphone to raise small-ticket loans totalling up to INR 2 lakh. He needed the money to service his EMIs after losing his job. But when he defaulted on these digital loans, recovery agents shamed him before friends and family as the apps had unfettered access to his contact list and call logs. Unable to face the humiliation, the techie put an end to his life as a police probe revealed.
And it is not a standalone incident.
Of late, people from all walks of life have fallen victim to digital loan traps as many of them badly needed the cash post the Covid-19 fallout. Google has recently taken down more than 500 lending apps from its Play Store in India (more on that later) that shows the scale of their presence in the country.