Jakarta (ANTARA) - National police chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo revealed several methods of operation or modus operandi used by perpetrators of financial cybercrimes at the signing of a joint statement on efforts to eradicate fraudulent online loans in Jakarta on Friday,

Prabowo said the modus operandi of fraudulent online loans included providing offers with easy requirements to prospective customers without any face-to-face interaction.

"Illegal online lenders ask the customers to follow the policies or conditions in the online loan application, where the contact number data on the customer's phone may be opened by the lender," he elaborated.

Another modus operandi includes collection of online loans in violation of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) Regulation Number 77 POKJ 01/2016 regarding the Implementation of Information Technology-Based Lending and Borrowing Services, he added.

Prabowo said the policy allowing lenders access to contact lists of customers allows perpetrators to demand payment from customers' contacts in case the customers are late in making payments.

"The contact and location of the organizer of this fraudulent online loan application is unclear," he said.

The police chief said that the most damaging instance of fraud is when a loan has been paid by the customer, yet it is not deleted in the application on the grounds that it is not read by the system.

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He said that recently, online loans have been in demand among the public because they provide easy access to funds and do not take much time.

Online loans help people who cannot be served by the formal financial sector through several features that benefit customers, he noted.

"People who want to apply for a loan can simply download an application or access a loan service provider's website, fill in data, and upload the required documents in a relatively short time," Prabowo said.

However, the public needs to be wary of the convenience offered and verify whether the online loan application is legal or illegal, he added.

According to data released by the Financial Services Authority (OJK), as of July 2021, there were 121 peer-to-peer lending or online lending companies registered and licensed with the OJK, the police chief informed.

He then reminded everyone of the risks involved in taking online loans.

"Online loans are in demand because they provide convenience in their services. On the other hand there are several potential risks of crime that often occur, such as cybercrime, misinformation, transaction errors, and misuse of personal data," the police chief warned.

Indonesian non-financial banking regulations are not as strict as current banking regulations, Prabowo noted. This is why criminals often misuse data of online loan service providers, especially those who do not possess official permission from the OJK, he said.

Between 2018 and 2021, the national police force has investigated 14 cases of fraudulent online loans, he revealed.

On Friday, five ministries and -- National Police Force, OJK, Bank Indonesia, the Communication and Information Technology Ministry, and the Cooperatives and MSMEs Ministry – signed a joint statement to eradicate fraudulent online loans.

The purpose of the joint statement is to crack down on fraudulent online loans, provide a sense of security, foster public trust in banking operations, strengthen literacy on official digital financing, handle public complaints, and law enforcement, he informed.

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Translator: Laily Rahmawaty, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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