The unregulated rise of online micro-lending has given way to a disturbing pattern of intimidation and harassment towards borrowers, resulting in tragic outcomes. In one such case, a 42-year-old father named Muhammad Masood took his own life due to overwhelming pressure from online loan sharks.

Masood, a resident of Rawalpindi, initially borrowed Rs13,000 through an online application to cover his children’s school fees and house rent after losing his job. However, the loan quickly accumulated interest, skyrocketing to Rs700,000 within weeks. Unable to repay the lenders, Masood faced threats and harassment, ultimately leading to his decision to hang himself.

According to Geo, Masood’s wife revealed that her husband’s death was directly attributed to the debt he incurred through the online lending app. The loan, initially taken for Rs13,000, quickly ballooned to Rs100,000 with interest. In a final message, Masood expressed his anguish over the loan sharks making his life unbearable.

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Representatives from the loan companies blackmailed and threatened Masood, as per his wife’s account. They even threatened to leak his personal data. Following Masood’s suicide, his brother filed a complaint with the cybercrime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency, seeking justice for the family.

Masood’s wife recounted how her husband experienced harassment within a week of obtaining the loan, with the amount rapidly increasing to Rs50,000. Representatives from the online companies resorted to blackmail and threats, exacerbating the family’s distress.

The devastating case of Muhammad Masood highlights the urgent need for regulations in online micro-lending. Predatory lending practices continue to wreak havoc on vulnerable borrowers, necessitating immediate action to protect individuals and prevent further tragedies.