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Public Alert; Cyberbullying By Digital Lending Mobile App Owners

Public Alert; Cyberbullying By Digital Lending Mobile App Owners

Background

The cyber security Authority (CSA) has received reports of cyberbullying experiences by users of digital lending mobile applications (Apps).  These Apps can be found on Google Play Store or may be shared on Android files (APK) via Social media.

Modus Operandi

These Apps offer  loans at varying interest rates and payment terms. When subscribers default in repayment, they are threatened by the owners of these digital  lending Apps  with having their identities published as wanted persons or fraudsters  on various social media platforms and their contacts. In some cases, the App owners follow through with their threats. Some victims also reported that even though they had not taken such loans, they received the threat messages.

Key Findings

The commonly reported Apps in this scheme includes

FourCredy

FiCashX

4Cedi

Aliloan

Boseapa

CediBoom

Cocoaloan

Mach Loan

Easy Loan and

Onloan

The victims would typically have granted these Apps permissions during installation ( unknowingly or without proper scrutiny), to access their data and personal identifiable information (PII) eg name, phone number, Ghana Card, Contacts, photos  etc

A bank of Ghana notice (BG/GOV/SEC/2022/10) States that it has not licensed any company to provide digital lending services of such nature to the Public.

In addition, these Digital lending Apps have not met the compliance obligations of the  Data Protection Commission (DPC) and hence their access and use of data and PII of users are violations of the Data Protection Act, 2012 (ACT 843).

Recommendations

The public is advised against subscribing to these mobile applications since they are not sanctioned by the Bank of Ghana and the Data Protection Commission. Individuals who patronise these services do so at their own risk

The Public is further advised to review access permissions for mobile applications carefully before installing them.

The CSA has a 24-hour cybersecurity / Cybercrime Incident Reporting Points of Contact (PoC) for reporting cybercrimes and for seeking guidance and assistance on online activities. Call or Text – 292, WhatsApp- 05016031111, Email report@csa.gov.gh

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