Posted by: Liz Jones
Washington, D.C., February 21, 2012 – The Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) today praised the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) actions against a fraudulent debt collector whose companies had been making fraudulent calls to consumers demanding payments and threatening legal action. OLA reported fraudulent and threatening calls to the FTC over two years ago after they were initially reported by dozens of OLA member customers.
Last week, the FTC filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Chicago charging Varang K. Thaker and his companies Ebeeze, LLC and American Credit Crunchers, LLC with violating the Fair Debt Collections Practices ACT and the FTC Act. The court issued a temporary restraining order effectively halting the scam and freezing Thaker and his firms’ assets.
“The online lending industry is pleased to see the FTC take decisive action against this fraudulent debt collector,” said Lisa McGreevy, President and CEO of the OLA. “For over two years the OLA and our member companies have heard from consumers about abusive and threatening calls demanding payment on loans that had already been repaid or were never issued. Since the beginning of this scam we have been working with the FTC and will continue to work with them along with other law enforcement agencies until this scheme is stopped.”
“OLA and its members recognize that it is important to be an advocate for our consumers,” McGreevy continued. “Since this scam was first brought to our attention, we have proactively issued consumer alerts, set up a toll-free hotline to help consumers report fraudulent calls, and helped consumers work with their banks and credit card companies to get their funds back from fraudsters.”
OLA strongly encourages consumers who think they may be a victim of fraud to report it directly to the FTC.
The Online Lenders Alliance is a professional trade organization representing the growing industry of companies offering online consumer small, short-term loans. OLA member companies abide by a list of Best Practices and Code of Conduct to ensure that customers are fully informed, fairly treated and are using all lending products and practices responsibly. For more information, visit www.onlinelendersalliance.org