Are You A Victim of Online Shaming by Money Lenders?


Have you ever received a message either on online chat or SMS from someone you don't know and accusing you of owing their company money?

Just recently, I got a text from an unlisted number telling me that somebody I know (though not particularly close to) has an unpaid debt. I was shocked that 1) the texter knew my number; 2) I was informed of somebody else’s issues, and 3) the person mentioned owes that amount of money. When I mentioned this to my friends, I was told this is the new tactic of money lenders to get people to pay them—by public shaming.  

Curious, I googled this shaming tactic and learned that as of May 2019, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has already received 485 complaints of harassment against 48 lending applications who used people’s data, such as phone and Facebook contacts, to shame them into paying their balance on loans. Some lending apps require access to the borrowers’ contacts, photos, and other files on their mobile phones before they can proceed with the loan application. 

Now, I understand collecting debt is tough and some borrowers can be annoying, but public shaming is not only wrong—it is illegal. Our data privacy law prohibits anyone from using private data without the consent of the data owner. 

Which brings me to my most important point: NEVER, ever give anybody access to your personal information, for any reason. Do NOT just sign consent forms or tick boxes to agree to terms. Remember that in this digital age, information is the currency, and unscrupulous people will use information in unscrupulous was.

If you need the money and can’t borrow from family members, go to reliable institutions such as banks. You can also do a cash advance on your credit card. Better yet, explore new platforms like GCredit, the country’s first mobile credit line based on a trust score. That’s right—trust. 

You can access credit from GCash with a certain GScore, a point system based on people’s GCash transactions. The more you use GCash, the higher your GScore; the higher your GScore, the higher your credit limit. That means you can be trusted with credit. You can use GCredit to pay bills and make purchases in GCash more than 50,000 partner merchants. 

True, GCredit does not issue huge amounts, but having access to a few thousand in credit from your GCash account is better than turning to lenders who will publicly shame you for missing out on your payments. Like banks, GCredit will charge minimal interest, and you can just pay via the GCash app—no need to face people. When you’re paid, your credit line will be replenished. 

GCredit does not rob you of dignity just because you were in need at some point in your life. It’s worth a try.