By Glenn Wickman • 19 February 2023 • 19:44
Image by Edaccor/Shutterstock
NUMEROUS internet users in Spain are reporting falling prey to a micro-loan company that is said to use illegal practices to swindle customers.
According to Diari Ara, Kviku is a Russian firm based in Marbella, posing as an online bank offering instant “commission-free” money loans.
When registering with the platform, users are requested to provide their ID number, telephone and bank account number. A text message with a code is then sent to the applicant to verify the account, and upon doing so the user reportedly receives an unsolicited payment of €50 and a contract.
The contract requires the user to pay back more than double the amount in less than two months. Failure to do so results in an avalanche of threatening phone calls and emails warning the victim to expect a home visit by the loan sharks.
Many victims pay up out of fear, while others have refused to do so and have simply kept the money, joining forces to file police reports against Kviku for usury.
Legal experts insist that the loans offered are illegal and sometimes apply interest rates of more than 700 per cent, adding that the contract issued by the company is completely null.
When faced with legal consequences, Kviku reportedly cancels the vast majority of contracts and leaves the victim alone, but in some cases the company has been taken to court.
Under Spanish law, interest rates of more than 20 per cent constitute usury, a practice that was decriminalised in 1995 but which does require the cancellation of the contract.
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