The Parliament has been notified by the government that over 2,200 loan apps, which were fraudulent, have been suspended or removed from Google’s Play Store between September 2022 and August 2023. Bhagwat K Karad, the Minister of State for Finance, stated in a written response in the Rajya Sabha that the government is continuously collaborating with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other relevant regulators and stakeholders to curb fraudulent loan apps.
He mentioned that, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Google reviewed around 3,500 to 4,000 loan apps from April 2021 to July 2022 and suspended or removed over 2,500 of them from its Play Store.
Google has revised its policy on loan apps
He further stated that Google has revised its policy on the enforcement of loan apps on the Play Store. Now, only those apps published by Regulated Entities (REs) or those in partnership with REs are permitted. Google has also implemented additional policy requirements with stringent enforcement actions for loan apps in India.
The RBI has released regulatory guidelines on digital lending with the aim of strengthening the regulatory framework, enhancing customer protection, and ensuring the safety and soundness of the digital lending ecosystem.
How to report fake loan apps to police
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been actively analyzing digital lending apps. To assist citizens in reporting cyber incidents, including illegal loan apps, the MHA has launched a National Cybercrime Reporting Portal and a National Cybercrime Helpline number ‘1930’.
To raise awareness about cybercrimes, the government has initiated various measures, including sharing cyber safety tips on social media, publishing a handbook for adolescents/students, releasing ‘Information Security Best practices’ for government officials, and organizing cyber safety and security awareness weeks in collaboration with states/Union Territories.
In addition, the RBI and banks have been conducting cybercrime awareness campaigns through SMS, radio campaigns, and publicity on prevention of ‘cybercrime’. The RBI has also been running electronic banking awareness and training (e-BAAT) programs, focusing on fraud awareness and risk mitigation.
In response to another question, Karad mentioned that the JanSamarth Portal was launched to provide a unified platform for availing loans under credit-linked government schemes. Since its launch until December 2023, a total of 1,83,903 beneficiaries have availed loans under the schemes linked to the JanSamarth portal.


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