In January, Jacob Adeogun (not his real name) borrowed 12,000 naira from 9Cash, a fast loan company in Nigeria, to buy medicine for his sick mother.
Jacob told FIJ his intention was to repay the loan within seven days, but unfortunately the unexpected happened. He lost his mother to illness.
“The sad event overtook so much and I totally forgot about the refund I was supposed to make during this time,” Adeogun told IJF.
“The day after my mother’s funeral, I was in the living room when my sister rushed over to show me the message she had received from 9cash.”
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The message Adeogun’s sister received was one describing him as a chronic debtor and a criminal.
“Unfortunately, virtually every contact on my phone also received the same message. It was a terrible time for me. I had to explain to several people that I was not a chronic debtor and a criminal,” said Adeogun.
After the incident, the 29-year-old worker vowed never to reimburse the company.
“Since then, they have sent me many messages, threatening me with arrests, etc. But really, deep inside me, they did their best to send messages to all my contacts. What could be more embarrassing than that?
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“Last week I was trying to access messages on WhatsApp when I discovered that a strange number had sent me a fake arrest warrant. I tried to call the number back but it was not unreachable,” he said.
“The warrant had no name, signature and date. I immediately knew it was wrong and burst out laughing. These people will stop at nothing in their attempt to keep bullying people. I swear I will never repay this debt.
On November 15, 2021, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) released a statement announcing an investigation into rights violations in the money lending industry.
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This came after the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) fined Sokoloan, another lender, for breaching the privacy of its customers’ data, an action that clearly violates Article 2.2 of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), which prohibits unlawful sharing of data with third parties. parties.
Despite the fines, sanctions and closure of some of these companies, many of them continued to invent new ways to harass their debtors.
FIJ made several calls to the 9cash service line, but they went unanswered. A text message sent to the company also went unanswered.