Predatory loan mobile apps grab data, harass users and their contacts



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We also found evidence that the data exfiltrated from devices are sometimes used to pressure for repayment, either by harassing the customers themselves or their contacts.”After downloading one of these apps, the user is first asked to share personal and financial information – name, address, employment history, education, and banking information – then to perform an ID verification with a video selfie (meaning: they also provide an image of their ID card). Then the apps ask the user to access their contacts, photos and media, and to be allowed to make and manage phone calls and send and view SMS messages. Lookout researchers have discovered nearly 300 Android and iOS apps that trick victims into unfair loan terms, exfiltrate excessive user data from mobile devices, and then use it to pressure and shame the victims for repayment.

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