Google deletes 2,200 fake loan apps from Play Store, here is how to be safe

Google deletes 2,200 fake loan apps from Play Store, here is how to be safe

Between September 2022 and August 2023, Google removed over 2,200 fraudulent loan apps from the Play Store as a proactive measure to protect its users. According to PTI, this move is in line with the government’s ongoing efforts to stop fraudulent loan apps and shield customers from financial fraud.

Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat K. Karad addressed questions in Parliament by highlighting the government’s cooperation with oversight organizations like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to combat the growth of fraudulent lending applications. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) reports that during April 2021 to July 2022, Google examined between 3,500 and 4,000 loan apps, suspending or deleting over 2,500 of them from the Play Store. Over 2,200 fraudulent loan apps were removed by Google as part of its ongoing crackdown that lasted from September 2022 to August 2023.

Additionally, Google has revised its Play Store loan app enforcement policy. Apps published on the platform are now only allowed to be used by Regulated Entities (REs) or in partnership with REs. Additionally, the tech giant has put in place stringent enforcement procedures and extra policy requirements designed especially for loan apps in India.

To strengthen the regulatory framework, improve consumer protection, and guarantee the security and stability of the digital lending ecosystem, the RBI has released regulatory guidelines on digital lending. In the meantime, the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has been keeping a close eye on digital lending apps to stop fraudulent activity.

The MHA has introduced the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal ( and the National Cybercrime Helpline number ‘1930’ in order to enable citizens to report cyber incidents, including illicit loan apps. In addition, a number of government campaigns have been launched to increase public awareness of cybercrimes. These campaigns have included publishing student and adolescent handbooks, promoting cyber safety and security awareness weeks, and sharing cybersafety advice on social media.

To help prevent cybercrimes and reduce risks, banks and the RBI have worked together to launch cybercrime awareness campaigns. These campaigns have included radio broadcasts, SMS campaigns, and publicity campaigns. Furthermore, risk reduction and fraud awareness are the main topics of RBI’s electronic banking awareness and training (e-BAAT) programs.

Concurrently, the government has introduced the JanSamarth Portal to expedite the loan application process for credit-linked government programs. Since the portal’s launch, a sizable number of beneficiaries have used it to apply for loans under different programmes, giving those in need vital financial support.

Nevertheless, reports of fraud involving Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions have been made in spite of these preventative measures. 7.25 cases of UPI-related fraud totaling Rs 573 crore were reported during the fiscal year 2022–2023.

How to avoid falling for these phony loan apps

It is recommended that users do extensive research before downloading any apps in light of these developments. Verifying reviews and the credentials of the company is preferable. Check terms and conditions and confirm permissions requested during installation. Make use of safe payment methods and refrain from disclosing private information.

Updating your software and device is preferable in order to fix security flaws. Install apps only from official stores, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play. Unrealistic loan terms, exorbitant interest rates, or upfront costs should be avoided. Inform the appropriate authorities right away of any suspicious activity. Keep up with typical scams and inform others about precautions to take when using the internet. By exercising caution and vigilance, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of dishonest schemes.

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