Chinese scammers have been exploiting fake loan apps to engage in money laundering and have targeted India’s digital payment system. These scammers promise substantial loans with easy installment plans, gathering personal details and fees from unsuspecting victims before disappearing.
Researchers from CloudSEK revealed the extensive scam operation orchestrated by Chinese fraudsters. The scammers have collected over INR 37 lakhs (approximately $46,000) using 55 malicious Android apps, luring victims with offers of massive loans. This widespread campaign, which extends beyond India, poses challenges for law enforcement due to its transnational nature. Scammers exploit regulatory gaps and Chinese payment gateways, making it vital for authorities to enhance cooperation and adopt advanced measures to counter this sophisticated threat.
The Chinese scammers use fake loan apps that demand excessive permissions, tricking users into granting access to sensitive information like contacts and photos. These malicious apps then extract the desired information and collect loan processing fees, typically 5% of the promised loan amount. The scammers employ money mules to transfer funds and have a strong presence in India, targeting Indian bank customers.
To combat this threat, banks and regulatory bodies are urged to enhance security measures and stay informed about evolving scam tactics, with a particular focus on strengthening UPI security. Common sense is also emphasized as a critical defense against such scams, as the old saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”