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22-year-old Bengaluru woman alleges blackmail and harassment from agents for accidentally downloading loan app

A 22-year-old woman from north Bengaluru faced harassment after downloading a loan app, and receiving calls demanding repayment for a loan she never took. The situation escalated as blackmailers threatened to circulate morphed nude photos unless she paid a ransom. She filed a complaint, and police are investigating.

22-year-old Bengaluru woman alleges blackmail and harassment from agents for accidentally downloading loan app vkp
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First Published Feb 6, 2024, 12:16 PM IST

In a distressing incident, a 22-year-old woman from AC Post near Nagawara, north Bengaluru, found herself entangled in a web of harassment after downloading a loan application. The situation escalated when miscreants flooded her with calls, demanding repayment for a loan she insists she never took. The ordeal took a dark turn as the blackmailers resorted to circulating morphed nude photos of the victim to her family and friends.

Naajia (name changed), a private firm employee, recounted her ordeal to the Govindapura police, revealing that the troubles began when she came across a loan app advertisement while browsing Instagram. Accidentally downloading the app, she promptly deleted it. However, the repercussions unfolded on February 1, around 10 am, when she started receiving calls from unknown numbers claiming to be executives of the loan application as reported by the TOI.

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Allegedly, the callers asserted that Naajia had taken an online loan from their app and insisted on immediate repayment with interest. Firmly denying any of this, Naajia explained that the app was mistakenly downloaded and deleted. The situation took a menacing turn when the miscreants resorted to threats of circulating her intimate photos unless she paid a ransom. Despite Naajia disconnecting the call, the harassment persisted through calls and messages from various numbers, including international ones.

Refusing to succumb to the extortion demands, Naajia faced the horrifying consequence of having her photos morphed with her face. These manipulated images were then circulated among her family members and friends. Overwhelmed by the distress, she approached the police and filed a complaint.

According to a senior police officer, Naajia claimed to have deleted the app soon after downloading it. However, suspicions arise regarding her initial permissions granted to the application. Police believe she may have initially allowed access to her contact list, gallery, phone calls, messages, and location, later opting to delete the app instead of uninstalling it. The calls, originating from both local and foreign numbers, raised suspicions of the use of a virtual private network (VPN) by the culprits.

"We are in the process of verifying the complainant's accounts to determine if a loan was taken or not. Regardless, the act of morphing and circulating her photos is a criminal offence," stated the police officer. The complainant has not disclosed the amount demanded by the miscreants.

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In response to the situation, the police advised Naajia to block the numbers and inform her friends about the crime to ensure the prompt deletion of the photos. However, Naajia, overwhelmed by the situation, chose to deactivate her social media accounts and switch off her phone.

A case has been registered under the IT Act at Govindapura police station, marking a crucial step towards uncovering the perpetrators behind this distressing incident.

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