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News Globe warns vs certain online lending apps over privacy risks

Globe warns vs certain online lending apps over privacy risks


Leading digital solutions platform Globe has warned the public against online lending apps (OLAs), some of which are notorious for intrusively accessing user data leading to spam and scam messaging.

Anton Bonifacio, Globe’s Chief Information Security Officer, cautioned the public against using dubious lending apps downloadable on mobile devices as these deceptively seek permissions that pry open sensitive user information.

“These online lending apps are very dangerous. You should be very careful. Please do not install these apps or if you already have, please uninstall them. We know that the times are hard these days but please find legitimate platforms to get the financial support you need,” Bonifacio said.

He said scammers gain access to mobile numbers through these apps as they crawl a device and take stored contact information.

“We tested these apps and we saw that they ask for intrusive permissions so that they get access to your SMS and your contacts list and download these into their servers. Once a number sends SMS to a device with these apps, automatically, that number will get a claim notice collecting loan dues,” Bonifacio said.

“These apps are not your friends,” he cautioned.

In 2021, the National Privacy Commission ordered the takedown of four online lending apps– JuanHand, Pesopop, CashJeep, and Lemon Loan- over privacy concerns.

It also called on other OLAs to align with NPC guidelines on Know-Your-Customer and debt collection practices.

Globe’s fresh caution is in line with its campaign to stop the proliferation of scam and spam messages, which have now moved to over-the-top messaging to bypass network filters.

From January to mid-June this year, Globe blocked over 138 million spam and scam messages, including more than 9 million reported through partner banks. It constantly urges the public to employ vigilance and ignore messages from unknown numbers that offer suspicious jobs, quick loans and other dubious promos.

The public may report spam and scam messages through Globe’s Stop Spam portal. If using Android phones, they may also enable anti-spam filters in their devices. Learn how via the video through this link.

To access legitimate lenders online, customers may check out options on mobile wallet GCash. Its GGives service allows qualified users to pay for purchases of up to P30,000 in 24 installments in as long as 12 months. GLoan, meanwhile, lends funds of up to P25,000 payable in 9 to 12 months.

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