Lending

The trap story of an illegal loan service

The public should consider the legal and logical aspects to avoid illegal loan service

Si, 49, was disappointed, angry and annoyed to learn that his nephew had received a threatening message mentioning his uncle’s name.

What started as a small loan of money taken out from a financial technology (fintech) lender eventually led to SI’s family being trapped and threatened with death by the lender.

“Tell SI that if until noon he hasn’t paid his loan, I’ll kill his whole family. I’ll post his photo as a fugitive. Don’t steal the app’s money!” one of the short message services (SMS) threatening SI’s nephew, T.

At the Special Economic Crimes Directorate of the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Unit in Jakarta on October 21, SI and T waited for an investigation into their reported illegal online lending case.

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SI was not offended that he was threatened to pay off his loan, but was furious to learn that the lender had threatened all of his family as well.

Fortunately, he did not commit suicide like a housewife, with the initials WPS, from Wonogiri. However, both are victims of illegal online loans. The app allows users to quickly borrow money of varying amounts.

Economic needs forced SI to seek loans through loans, without knowing the difference between legal and illegal means. All he knew was that the online loan process was quick and easy, and the money was immediately deposited into the account.

He was unaware that the Kredit Kilat app he was using required him to enter his personal details, his cell phone number, his identity card number (NIK) and the emergency number of his contacts.

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By filling in the emergency number, SI filled in his nephew’s number without his knowledge. An emergency number is required for lenders to contact the borrower if the mobile phone number is not active.

In less than five minutes, SI received the loan funds in his bank account. However, out of the Rp 1.4 million total he requested, he only received Rp 925,000.

In addition, the duration or duration of the payment, which was originally 91 days, was immediately increased to seven days after the loan funds entered the account.

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Fraud

Sensing that he had been cheated, SI did not know where to look or who to contact because the loan application he had downloaded did not provide the functionality of consumer services or loan cancellations.

Since he had already received the money, SI did not pay much attention to it. He planned to return the loan money at maturity, that is, on the seventh day.

However, on the fifth day after receiving the money, SI has already started receiving a series of instant messages and calls of the loan application. In these messages, he was asked to immediately return the loan money. Terror was perpetrated in the messages and calls which continued to hit different numbers every day.

The climax came on the seventh day when SI was surprised to receive a message from his nephew, stating that he had received a threatening message that their family would be killed if SI did not repay the loan.

SI suspects that not only his nephew but also 300 other phone contacts stored on his cell phone may have received such similar messages.

SI immediately regretted his decision to impulsively borrow money on demand. He doesn’t want to burden his family by borrowing money from them, but instead he has let his family down because of the death threats sent by the loan application.

“The public should be really vigilant when looking for a loan. If you borrow money from people you know, your family or your cousin, they will not threaten or intimidate you,” a- he stressed.

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Police action

Based on its experience, SI called on the public not to hesitate to report threats from illegal lenders to the police. Reports of fraud and threats of illegal loans will be followed up by the Directorate of Special Economic Crimes of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations of the National Police.

Since 2020, the Police Criminal Investigation Unit has taken action on public reports related to this illegal online lending. Police confirmed 371 police reports of illegal loans from across the region. Of this figure, only 91 cases have been resolved, while eight cases are already at the trial stage and the others are still under investigation.

The Director of Special Economic Crimes, Brigadier General Helmy Santika, noted that the investigation into the illegal loans case had a different feature for which the process may be different.

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Santika insisted that the investigation be conducted properly and correctly. Police are said to be exposing the whole pattern of illegal loans, from blasting text messages to desk-top collection, as well as the founders of this business.

Plus, this technology-based non-bank financial service helps lenders move around. They can control their request from abroad.

In June 2021, the Criminal Research Unit of the National Police unearthed the case of the illegal loan application called RPCepat. Five perpetrators were arrested, although the two main players, who became investors, especially Chinese citizens, are still at large.

In July 2021, eight perpetrators of illegal loans, under the name Cinta Damai Savings and Credit Cooperative (KSP), were arrested. According to the survey results, this Cinta Damai cooperative is affiliated with several other KSPs, including Hidup Hijau KSP, Tur Saku KSP, Pulau Bahagia KSP and several other online loans.

In October 2021, seven illegal credit counter collection operators were arrested in several districts of Jakarta. Among these seven perpetrators, one was a foreign national, with the initials ZJ, who is on the Police Fugitive List (DPO).

During the police investigation, it was found that the illegal loan providers were using a shell company (PT) or a savings and credit union (KSP) to handle an illegal loan request.

The Criminal Investigation Unit has also found application with subsidiaries.

Following this request, a housewife from Wonogiri decided to hang herself because she was in debt following 23 loan requests of which she was not aware.

On October 22, police arrested illegal loan providers who took advantage of the establishment of PT or KSP to exploit their request for an illegal loan.

The suspect, called JS, arrested by police officers, is a financier as well as a financial facilitator for Chinese citizens to operate an illegal loan.

“JS is a facilitator of Chinese citizens willing to invest in this illegal loan. She is also a recruiter to find the president of KSP and director of this fictitious PT,” Santika informed.

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Legal and logical aspects

The head of the public information section of the public relations division of the national police, the senior commissioner, Ahmad Ramadhan, noted that the increase in the number of cases of illegal loans has become of particular concern to the national police. in the context of law enforcement.

The national police responded to President Joko Widodo, who expressed concern about the problem of illegal loans which are causing significant damage and causing concern in the community.

Ramadhan noted that aside from law enforcement efforts, the most important aspect in tackling this case is through prevention efforts.

Prevention efforts can be undertaken through community education. Members of society should be aware of the dangers of illegal loans, as they should avoid them in the future.

People looking to borrow money from loan services should check the legality of their providers on the Financial Services Authority (OJK) website.

Related news: Ministry blocks 151 unlicensed P2P fintech lenders

Some 161 legal loan providers are registered in the OJK. When an online loan provider is not registered, it should be ignored.

In addition, prevention, in the form of logical aspects, must be implemented. The public should not be easily tempted by loan offers. They should also be alerted if the loan provider requests permission to access cell phone data, including user contact numbers.

This data access is an illegal access gateway used by illegal lenders to collect debts by intimidating and slandering and forcing customers to pay off their loans.

Access to this data is also an opportunity to disseminate information about loan offers to other people.

“The public should consider the legal and logical aspects to avoid illegal loan services,” Ramadhan said.

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