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New Delhi, December 8: In a major crackdown, Google has removed 17 fraudulent SpyLoan apps from the Play Store. After cybersecurity, researchers discovered they targeted Android users in India and other countries with predatory lending and extortion practices. ESET, Google’s App Defense Alliance partner, identified 17 SpyLoan apps engaging in deceptive and abusive tactics, with 12 million downloads globally. After being notified, Google took swift action by taking down 17 apps.

These malicious apps disguise themselves as legitimate loan providers, luring victims with promises of quick cash and easy access to funds. However, once users download them, exorbitant hidden fees and interest rates are levied while sensitive personal data is extracted. Google Announces 20 AI-First Startups in ‘Seed to Series A’ Stage Selected From Over 720 Applications for Its Accelerator Programme in India.

When borrowers fall behind on repayments, the apps resort to unethical means like harassment, blackmail, and public shaming using private data. While the removed SpyLoan apps provide temporary relief, researchers strongly advise users who have installed suspicious loan apps to delete them immediately to avoid potential harm. The apps are still at large and have been active across India, Mexico, Indonesia, and more.

According to the report of Deccan Herald, ESET’s Lukáš Štefanko, who helped uncover this loan scam network, advised exercising caution with financial apps and relying only on established, trustworthy providers with verifiable credentials.

List of Apps Taken Down From Google Play

1) AA Kredit

2) Amor Cash

3) GuayabaCash

4) EasyCredit

5) Cashwow

6) CrediBus

7) FlashLoan

8) Préstamos Crédito

9) Go Crédito

10) Cartera Grande

11) Rápido Crédito

12) Finupp Lending

13) 4S Cash

14) TrueNaira

15) EasyCash

16) Instantáneo Préstamo

17) Préstamos De Crédito-YumiCash

Tips to Safeguard Against Malicious Apps

Avoid “too good to be true” loan offers, never grant unnecessary permissions, use reputable banking/wallet apps only after research, and install security software.

Never grant permission to financial apps to access your photo gallery, contact list, SMS, and emails. Stick to installing official bank or digital wallet apps from trustworthy companies with a nationwide presence. Wipro Announces Its Chief Growth Officer Stephanie Trautman Will Steps Down From Her Role, Effective From December 31.

Consider installing anti-virus apps to monitor and detect any fraudulent activity. The discovery highlights the growing menace of predatory SpyLoan apps and the need for vigilance when downloading third-party apps, even from official stores.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 08, 2023 08:58 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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