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    Fraudsters Borrow Loan On MobiKwik By Impersonating Someone Else

    On June 1, Anupam Gupta, a chartered accountant and podcast host, shared his experience with loan fraud on X (formerly Twitter). Gupta stated that on April 28, he received calls and WhatsApp messages from financial services platform MobiKwik. These calls were from MobiKwik’s collection agents who asked Gupta to repay a loan that he had availed. However, Gupta had not requested a loan.

    The collection agents informed Gupta that the loan had been availed using his real phone number and address. It was then that he decided to check his CIBIL report. He noted that on March 13, a CIBIL enquiry for a loan was conducted on his account by Whizdm Finance. He had received an email but acknowledged that he had not noticed it and checked the report. The loan had been originated by Transactree Technologies Private Limited which owns Lendbox, an NBFC-P2P lending marketplace, where users can digitally apply and get connected with lenders to avail a loan.

    Gupta shared his understanding of the situation, “ Somebody, somewhere, used my mobile number and my address, and probably put in an inquiry on the Lendbox app, and that from Lendbox went to Mobikwik. Mobikwik approved the loan straight away, and after that, whoever this person is, has vanished”.

    The loan was a small credit offering by MobiKwik called ‘Zip Pay Later’ that offers credit that can be used for paying bills and small purchases. Borrowers have to repay the credit in 15 or 30 days based on the billing cycle, with 0% interest provided the bill is paid on time. In this particular case, the fraudsters did not pay the bill, leaving Mobikwik to deploy collection agents to follow up on Gupta’s contact details.

    Once Gupta informed Mobikwik of the fraud and filed a complaint with them,  the calls stopped. However on May 31, Gupta once again received multiple calls from collection agents. They claimed that he would have received a confirmation call or an OTP that he shared with a third party to get a loan. This was refuted by Gupta as he had not downloaded the app at least in 4 years.

    When Gupta asked for the receiving bank account number, he learned that the fraudsters had used a UPI ID to avail the loan that did not belong to him.

    The collection agents then asked him to send Mobikwik his bank account statements to prove that he had not taken the loan. Not wanting to disclose additional sensitive information, Gupta filed an online cybercrime complaint with the Mumbai police.

    Since then Mobikwik and LendBox have closed the fraudulent loan account and are working on ensuring that the incident does not reflect on his CIBIL report.

    We have reached out to LendBox and will update the story as we get a response.

    When approached, MobiKwik responded to Medianama saying:

    “India’s digital evolution has set benchmarks worldwide. The flip side has been a surge in online spams and cyber frauds.

    At MobiKwik, we have implemented stringent security measures to combat cyber frauds. We continue strengthening our security systems to align with our rapidly evolving product portfolio and fast transforming digital ecosystem.

    In this particular incident, the customer was a victim of compromised credentials. The response team reached out to the customer to understand and manage the issue. It was able to resolve the issue timely and to the customer’s satisfaction. This has been acknowledged by the customer as well.”

    However, MobiKwik did not provide details as to how a fraudster was able to bypass KYC obligations by simply providing someone’s personal details.

    Why it matters

    As Mobikwik noted, the availability of quick loans through financial services has led to a surge in cyber frauds. This can have adverse consequences for the person who is the victim of the fraud. For example, another X user, @CAPiyushSinghal, who was a victim of a similar fraud shared that his CIBIL report has seemingly been affected by this incident.

    This raises an important question- with financial platforms offering quick loans with the promise of convenience, are basic safety measures like verifying authenticity of the users and KYC compliance being adequately followed?

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    The post Fraudsters Borrow Loan On MobiKwik By Impersonating Someone Else appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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