Over 130 illegal personal loan apps blocked: SECP – Technology

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has so far blocked 132 illegal apps to safeguard the public from illicit loan sharks, Business Recorder learnt on Wednesday.

In a statement, SECP said it constantly monitors social media and websites for any illegal personal loan apps.

Since last year, the Commission has blocked several apps to save people from debt traps. It recently blocked another eight illicit apps, taking the total number of the blocked apps to 132.

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“These apps were being distributed to the public as Android Package Kit (APK) files via various APK websites, emails, and social media,” said SECP spokesperson in a media statement.

“SECP has already initiated actions against these illegal apps in coordination with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA),” it added.

The Commission said it blocked these loan sharks in collaboration with Google, Apple, FIA and PTA.

The coordinated efforts made by the SECP, Google, FIA and PTA have forced operators of illegal apps to divert their activities to APK websites, social media, etc.

These illegal apps pose significant risks to user’s safety including misuse of personal information/sensitive financial data, fraud, blackmailing/harassment etc.

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SECP has warned the general public not to download illegal apps from any website or links shared through any other source like email or social media.

It may be noted that an updated list of the illegal apps, as identified by the SECP and reported to respective app stores, PTA and FIA, is placed on the SECP website for information of public. A list of the SECP approved personal loan apps is also available on the website.

The Commission has repeatedly asked the public to only download the SECP approved personal loan apps that are only available on the official app stores of Google and Apple.

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