Michael Arifade (not his real name), a writer, and his fiancee recounted how Deloan and 1Clickloan, two online quick loan companies, sent defamatory messages to their phone contacts calling them rapists and murderers for defaulting on repayment of a loan.
Arifade, who spoke to FIJ on behalf of the duo, said he and his fiancée were forced to take out loans from the two groups due to an urgent issue.
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“I took N8,000 from 1Clickloan on May 29 because I was in dire financial need. My loan had to be repaid within seven days, which would end on June 3. However, they started sending defamatory messages about me to my contacts even before the deadline,” Arifade said.
“They accused me of being a pedophile and a criminal. They also described me as a child molester and a ritualist, adding that I was wanted by the police because I could not repay their loan on time.
Michael told FIJ that the outfits sent a graphic design of his fiancee’s obituary to his phone contacts via WhatsApp. He added that they also sent her another drawing indicating that she was wanted by the police.
“My fiancée took N24 735 from Deloan app May 30. She was due to repay on June 4. But the loan wasn’t even late when they started sending the embarrassing messages to his contacts on WhatsApp,” he said.
“They even threatened her that more defamatory messages would be sent to her contacts. In fact, they told him that they would continue to send different messages every 30 minutes to our contacts until the loan was paid off.
One of the messages sent to Oluseun read, “You only have until noon to refund before this goes viral. There are only two options: either you pay now and we remove the messages and then apologize to your contacts, or we allow our system to continue sending the messages. Nothing can stop me from sending these messages, not even your mother. May God grant you the morale to face your contacts and more.
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Arifade said the outfits ultimately broke their promises to apologize and take down the posts after the loans were repaid.
“Another thing is that even after we finally managed to issue the refunds, they did not take down the post or issue an apology to our contacts as promised,” he said.
“I told MoneyHub that I wouldn’t let them get away with the false claims they passed on to my contacts. They are loan sharks, but they claim to be human rights activists.
An investigation by FIJ showed that both outfits are owned by a parent company called MoneyHub.
When FIJ contacted a 1Clickloan agent, he hung up and banned our reporter from contacting him further, after she introduced herself.
Several phone calls were made to Deloan, but they received no response. A text message sent to them had also not received a response at press time.