The Ministry of Interior’s Anti Cybercrime Department has warned individuals seeking online loans to exercise caution and thoroughly vet lending institutions. 

In a warning issued on January 16, citizens are urged to be vigilant as scammers create fraudulent social media accounts, posing as legitimate sources offering easy online loans to attract users in need of quick and simple financial assistance.

“When people express interest, scammers agree to provide loans, requesting documents such as a national identity card and asking for money as service fees. However, in the end, the promised loan is never issued, leaving victims unable to retrieve the money they transferred to these supposed online loan providers,” the department said.

“The department urges those seeking loans, especially online, to always exercise caution and thoroughly check before deciding to apply for a loan from any institution,” it added.

Am Sam Ath, operations director at rights group LICADHO, noted the persistent challenge of online loans, with victims staying entangled while the culprits remain unidentified.

“The department should not only issue warnings, they need to pursue legal actions against individuals exploiting online platforms for illegal activities, threats and the dissemination of explicit imagery,” he said. 

He added that the use of such images is illegal, warranting more than just warnings, as perpetrators often hide online. Stringent legal measures, he suggested, are necessary to hold those committing these crimes accountable.