Online lending company raided by police for threatening clients

Are you a Philippine resident who borrowed money from an online lending company and got threatened by them to push you into paying them back? Another company that lends money got raided by the police over complaints from clients who claimed they were threatened, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. The raided company was located in Pasig City.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news article. Some parts in boldface…

An online lending company in Barangay San Miguel, Pasig City was raided by operatives of the Philippine National Police – Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) on Tuesday, May 16, for allegedly threatening and harassing its customers who have failed to pay their loans.

The company was identified as Realm Shifters Business Process Outsourcing Services, located along Mercedes Avenue in Barangay San Miguel.

According to the Philippine Association of Loan Shark Victims Inc. (PALSVI), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping loan shark victims, the company is one of the many businesses operating online lending applications (OLA) that harass and threaten users for not paying their debts.

The PNP-ACG conducted the raid in response to the complaints made to their office from the victims of the OLA.

A warrant to search and seize computer data was served by the police to the company during the operation.

Digital forensic examinations to extract data and evidence from the computers, mobile phones, and other devices of the OLA agents are ongoing.

Other incidents of malpractice made by the company are also under further investigation by the police.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? How many people in your local community got harassed by an online lending firm recently?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Gamer arrested by PNP Anti-Cybercrime team

There is a need for us to behave ourselves and watch out backs not only in the real world but also online. I say this because the Philippine News Agency (PNA) recently reported the news of a gamer who got arrested by the Anti-Cybercrime team of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for violating key parts of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The arrest happened in Quezon City.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…

A man was arrested for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl whom he met while playing an online game, the Philippine National Police – Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) reported on Friday.

In a statement, ACG chief Brig. Gen. Joel Doria said 35-year-old suspect Estelito Gibaga Jr. was nabbed by members of the Quezon City District Anti-Cybercrime Team (QCDACT) inside a motel located at West Point Street, E. Rodriguez Avenue on Thursday.

Based on the report submitted by QCDACT officer in charge Lt. Michael Bernardo, Gibaga met the victim, a Grade 9 student, in a public chat of an online game where both of them were players.

After a series of conversations, they shifted the conversation to “Snap Chat” and Facebook Messenger wherein they subsequently had a “virtual” romantic relationship.

During this time, the suspect allegedly sent the victim obscene photos of “himself” and asked the victim to do the same.

Bernardo said on September 6, the mother of the victim saw her daughter chatting with the suspect in the middle of the night.

When she saw the exchange of conversations between the two, she was shocked and confronted her daughter. This was when the minor admitted to her that she is being lured by the suspect into doing obscene things.

Bernardo said on September 16, the victim and her mother appeared at the office of QCDACT to lodge a complaint against the suspect, which resulted in the planning of an entrapment operation to catch him.

On Thursday, the mother and the victim reported back to QCDACT and informed the office that the suspect and the minor would meet up to watch a movie at a mall.

This prompted the Anti-Cybercrime Team to prepare an entrapment operation.

When the suspect and the victim met at the Gateway entrance, they went to McDonald’s to take out snacks and headed to Guess Hotel. After entering the room, we lost no time in apprehending the suspect,” Bernardo said.

Doria, meanwhile, advised parents to keep a tight watch on the online activities of their children.

“Sexual predators are everywhere, even on online games,” he said.

The above article ended stating that the suspect will be charged for violating the following provisions of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012: Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and Article 286 (Grave Coercion).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this recent development? Are you convinced that there are a lot of sexual predators and undesirable elements among the many users of the Internet and social media?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others as well as making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Over 40 employees of online lending applications arrested over alleged harassment of clients and contact persons

Here in the Philippines, have you been harassed or threatened by people who are working for online lending applications where you borrowed money from? I had to ask that question because it was revealed that more than forty online lending app employees (including a foreigner from China) were arrested for allegedly harassing and threatening clients who could not pay back their loans in time, according to a GMA Network news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA News report. Some parts in boldface…

Over 45 workers of online lending applications, including a Chinese national, were arrested for supposedly harassing and threatening clients unable to pay their loans within the prescribed period.

According to Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group Public Information Officer Police Lieutenant Michelle Sabino, the division had received several harassment complaints against lending apps that were being run by the Cashtree Lending Corp.

The terms and conditions of the applications allegedly contained a clause that granted the firm access to clients’ contacts – a requirement for taking out a loan. Once approved by the borrower, the firm is then said to save the contacts into its database.

“Hina-harass nila ‘yung mga relatives, kasi nga stated eh, ‘di ba nga like ‘yung contact numbers mo nandon… so if you do not pay out, ‘ire-rape namin ’to, papatayin namin,’ and all other threats na posible, ‘yun ang ginagawa nila,” she said in a report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

(They harass the relatives, as there was a clause regarding contacts… So if you do not pay, they threaten to rape, kill, and all other possible threats. That is what they do.)

The application targets mainly low-income households and those unemployed, even if it was found to have no certificate of authority or permit to operate.

The company’s loans were also said to have high interest rates, and they get in touch with the borrower’s contacts once payment is not made within eight days.

Collecting agents have also been reported to encourage borrowers to make other loans with different loan applications for them to make a repayment.

“Minsan merong mga dumadating sa kanila na sasabihin ng collecting agent na ‘Okay, para makasambot ka, para makabayad ka, magdownload ka ng itong loan app nito, would also offer, so para maka-payoff ka dito sa isa, mag-uutang ka na naman which in turn nabaon na nang nabaon si victim,” she said.

(Sometimes the collecting agents would tell the borrower that for them to be able to pay, they should download another loan app. So for them to pay off their debt in one application, they would borrow again leaving them buried in debt.)

For his part, one of the suspects, Shihai Dao, said the firm did not encourage any harassment.

“Never do anything illegal in Philippines, so I’m confused… Never allowed to employ to harass the client to pay the money back. Just reminding them and tell them to pay (sic),” he said in the same report.

The firm would face charges for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2021.

“Do not download ‘tong mga lending apps na ‘to, ‘tong mga loan apps. May tendency na ma-threaten pa ‘yung life mo or i-harass, at ang problema, hindi lang ikaw, lahat ng contact mo,” Sabino said.

(Do not download these lending and loan apps. There is a tendency that your life will be threatened or be harassed. The problem is it will not be just you but all your contacts.)

Authorities from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) earlier warned firms against unfair debt collection practices.

Such practices included sending violent threats, using harsh words, disclosing the name and other personal information of the borrower in public, and messaging or calling the people on the contact list of the borrower without his/her consent.

The above report ended stating that lending firms who are guilty of doing the above-mentioned practices may be fined between P25,000 to as much as P1,000,000 and also have their certificate of authority to operate revoked.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this recent news report? Do you know anyone who got harassed or threatened by people because they are unable to pay back their loans in due time? Have you been seriously considering borrowing money through these online lending apps? Does this recent news development discourage you from taking loans through online lending apps? Do you believe that the immigration officials should do something about foreign workers of online lending apps who got involved with the harassment of clients?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/