22:12 GMT12 August 2020
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    Loan sharks across the globe have never had a reputation for being shining models of ethics, but it appears as though some web-based private lenders in China have sunk to a new level of depravity -- demanding nude photos of female borrowers as collateral.

    The lenders are reportedly asking for photos of female-student borrowers’ government-issued identification cards in addition to the naked photos, which they promise to release to the public should they default on their massively high interest loans.

    In addition to the photos, they also demanded personal information such as phone numbers, parents names, contacts for their roommates, and their school’s registration information — all of which they threatened to make public.

    One of the women who fell victim to the scheme spoke to state-run newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily and explained that she isn’t alone, but others are afraid to speak out due to the shame.

    The college student explained that initially she only borrowed 500 yuan ($76) from the loan shark with a weekly interest rate of 30%. Unable to pay off the interest, she continued to take out loans to pay off the original, and her debt mounted up to a whopping 55,000 yuan ($8,347).

    Eventually, the lender told her that she would have to provide a nude photo of herself as collateral.

    The unidentified woman told the paper that she also intends to go to the police with her story.

    To investigate her claim, reporters joined online chats with lenders and posed as potential clients in need of loans. They quickly obtained evidence to corroborate the woman’s story.

    After publishing their report with the findings, the newspaper issued a follow up stating that the lenders are allegedly suspending the practice.


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