The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) on Tuesday blocked 43 illegal loan apps operating in the country following Masood suicide case.

The Ministry has initiated a crackdown on illegal loan apps operating in Pakistan. The Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication stated that the ministry has acted swiftly to implement instructions for blocking these apps.

The suicide of an unemployed man, Masood, in Rawalpindi who became a victim of an illegal loan app, has jolted the government into action. In a significant move against such scams and to save people from falling prey to online loan sharks, the government has decided to take the matter very seriously and therefore, the IT minister has instructed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take action against such entities without waiting for complaints.

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The minister stressed the importance of launching an awareness campaign to protect people from falling prey to such fraudulent activities.
A survey conducted earlier this year by Karandaaz Pakistan, a nonprofit organization, revealed that the number of Pakistanis using personal finance apps has more than doubled to 19% in 2022 compared to two years prior. To thwart this growing menace, a crackdown is being carried out nationwide, and citizens are advised to check the SECP website to verify whether a company’s app is licensed or not.

It has been strictly advised that the individuals should report complaints to relevant authorities, including the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cybercrime Division, and local police, in order to take appropriate action against such apps.

In this regard, FIA Director General has also instructed all cybercrime units to take strict action against companies and individuals offering loans through unregistered and illegal mobile applications.