Roundcheck received a claim on Facebook earlier today. The claim has it that a message was sent to a LinkCredit loan defaulter by PUNCH NG threatening to make a media publication by 4 pm if the debt isn’t paid.
The message says “The media Publication that was set for yesterday will go out by 4 PM today if your payment is not made to LINKCREDIT. The deadline that was set is long overdue”
Who is PUNCH NG?
PUNCH Nigeria is a media organization engaged in the business of publishing newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals. It was designed to inform, educate and entertain Nigerians and the world at large. The organization was registered in Nigeria on August 8, 1970.
Who is Linkcredit?
LinkCredit allows Nigerians to get quick loans in minutes by filling out a loan application in 3 steps. Users receive the loan directly to their bank account within a few minutes.
Roundcheck discovered that these loan applications make use of different tactics to force customers to pay back their loans. Findings also revealed that such messages can be sent via bulk SMS websites and mobile applications. Bulk SMS can be sent with different names.
Roundcheck made a call to the PUNCH Head of the Human Resource unit, Mrs. Olufolakemi Gbemuotor. She debunked the claim and said “It has nothing to do with us”
Loan organizations and FG
The federal government has said online loan companies have caused a lot of damage in the country through invasion of people’s privacy, breaching Nigeria’s data laws among others. On March, 12, the Federal Government shut down some illegal financial institutions operating on Opebi Road, Ikeja, Lagos for “possible violation” of consumer rights.
The Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in a joint operation with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, and the Nigerian Police Force, raided and shutdown GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice, Easy Moni, owned by Blue Ridge.
FCCPC said their action was in response to customers’ complaints of malpractices by the financial institutions.
Today, The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission says it has frozen no fewer than 30 bank accounts operated by illegal loan organizations.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Babatunde Irukera said that the commission had engaged Google and Apple Stores to take down some loan applications from their stores.
Verdict and Conclusion
Roundcheck fact-checked that message and it was discovered to be false. PUNCH did not send any message to the LinkCredit loan defaulter.
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