The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) said that after its crackdown on illegal loan apps, some operators have started launching their illegal loan apps through Android Package Kit (APK) files, by using alternative channels instead of uploading them on Google Play and App Store.
SECP cautioned the general public that illegal apps available through channels other than Google Play and App Store pose serious risks to the users, including fraud, misuse of personal information, blackmailing, and harassment. SECP warned the general public not to download illegal apps from any website or link shared through any source.
As part of SECP’s surveillance activities, seven illegal apps marketed on various websites have been identified and action has been initiated in collaboration with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The shift in illicit app distribution techniques is the consequence of actions against illegal lending apps initiated by SECP, in partnership with Google, FIA, and PTA, which resulted in the removal of 120 illegal apps from the Google Play and App Store.
An updated list of illegal apps has been placed on SECP’s website and the public is advised to download only SECP’s approved personal loan apps.