Illya Polycarp, an Abuja-based pharmacy technician, has detailed how a Bell Loan agent made his sensitive bank details public after tricking him into taking out a loan.
Polycarp told FIJ he asked for 10,000 naira after receiving messages from the company that he qualified for a loan from them.
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He said he called one of their agents to ask questions. “I asked if the company was registered and how they handled the refund as I didn’t want a similar issue to happen again which would have nearly cost me my reputation. The loan officer told me it was a different company and they handled the loan repayment differently,” he said.
“With all these assurances, I took out a loan of N10,000 on July 13. I had to refund on July 20, because there was a seven-day refund period. However, the agent also told me that I could get an extension as it was my first time.
“He said I could repay in 14 days which would end on July 27, instead of day seven, and each day would result in a fine of N210, which I accepted.”
Polycarp said the Bell Loan agent breached his agreement because everyone on his contact list received messages from them on July 20 calling him a wanted criminal for defrauding people.
“I called the agent back, asking him why he was sending such defamatory messages to my contacts when we had an agreement. Another of their agent went ahead to insult me and call me unprintable names,” he said.
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“As humiliating as it may be, what hurt me the most was that Bell Loan made my contact details public, including BVN. After going public, on July 22 around 3am, I received a debit of 3,900 naira from an unknown source. I’m afraid it’s because my coordinates were there.
“It is a threat to my job as I make huge purchases as required by my profession. If this continues, it could affect my integrity. If I had known in advance that it was all a deception, I would would not have taken out any loans from Bell Loan.
In an audio, a Bell Loan officer was heard swearing to Polycarp. She says:
See, you see, all these things that you say to me ehn, everything is in your pocket. I agree that she lied to you and I don’t dispute the fact. See, if I don’t see my payment, I promise you between God and man, I’ll hurt you this afternoon. I give you 12 hours to make this payment. You won’t listen unless they insult you. You are very stupid.
When FIJ contacted the agent, she denied calling Polycarp or using derogatory words in conversation with him. She also said the company is trying to get customers to repay their loans any way they can.