Tragedy struck Rawalpindi as a 42-year-old resident took his own life after enduring relentless harassment and threats from representatives of digital lending apps. The deceased, who had initially sought a loan to cover essential expenses, found himself trapped in a cycle of escalating debt and intimidation.

From Financial Support to Unbearable Pressure

The deceased, who had lost his job, resorted to taking a loan of approximately Rs. 13,000 to meet his family’s immediate needs, including house rent and school fees. However, within weeks, he found himself ensnared in a web of threats and coercion. According to his wife, the loan amount demanded from her husband surpassed the initial sum, creating mounting financial burdens. In desperation, the deceased turned to another digital loan app to repay the escalating debts.

Harassment Tactics by Digital Lending Apps and Tragic Consequences

The deceased was subjected to constant threats, including the potential exposure of his personal information, contact details, pictures, and videos, if he failed to repay the loan, along with exorbitant interest rates. The immense psychological pressure and blackmail tactics inflicted by these digital lending apps became unbearable, leading the man to take his own life. The Race Course police have initiated an investigation and registered a case in response to this tragic incident.

The Wider Context and Regulatory Actions

Instances of harassment by digital loan apps are not isolated incidents, with social media platforms filled with stories of similar threats and blackmailing tactics employed by these lenders. Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) urged borrowers to carefully review the terms and conditions of loans, emphasizing interest rates, service fees, and penalties. In May, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) issued a cautionary warning about the rising trend of mobile app-based micro-credit and nano-loan facilities, highlighting the need for public awareness.

Also read: Google Impose Stricter Guidelines On Digital Loan Apps in Pakistan


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