ARLINGTON, Va. (March 8, 2023)—With March 5-11 designated National Consumer Protection Week in the United States, one of the Online Lenders Alliance (OLA)’s core missions year round is to protect consumers by ensuring that the companies they choose for their short-term lending needs are committed to the highest standards of conduct.
OLA Members are required to adhere to industry-leading best practices designed to protect consumers, including advertising and marketing, application and origination, payment processing, collections, and data security. In addition, OLA maintains an aggressive website monitoring program that searches across the internet for misleading terminology to root out fraudsters and scammers looking to take advantage of consumers. Since 2016, OLA’s efforts to police URLs has resulted in more than 727,000 violations flagged with 98% being resolved through OLA enforcement actions.
OLA also operates the OLA Consumer Hotline, a free resource that allows consumers to report fraud and access help navigating the online lending landscape. Consumers can call 1-866-299-7585 to speak with a live operator or send an email to email@example.com to access this free resource. In 2022 alone, we received more than 3,000 calls from consumers, approximately 250 of which were complaints about fraud.
When seeking an online loan, consumers should be wary of potential financial and lending scams and be especially vigilant when seeking financial resources or being contacted about their finances. Signs of a potential scam include:
- Offers of loans or credit that require a consumer to first pay a “processing fee” or other financial obligation before the creditor transmits the funds to their account or a prepaid card.
- Lending companies that will not provide a loan agreement without proper disclosures, such as those required by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).
- Unexpected communications from a lender seeking to collect on a debt.
- Unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information, whether they are from your existing financial provider or someone new.
- Companies or customer service representatives who engage in aggressive or pressure tactics— like a “limited time offer”—to push a consumer into a financial product or make a financial decision.
- Solicitations that seem too good to be true, especially those that include wording such as “guaranteed,” “no credit check,” “funds immediately,” or “all applications approved.
OLA reminds consumers that if they are seeking an online loan, they should look for the OLA Seal on the lender’s website. The OLA Seal is an indication that the company has agreed to follow the Online Lenders Alliance’s strict set of best practices designed to protect consumers and treat them fairly, and that they are committed to the highest standards of conduct, dedicated to ensuring the best possible experience for their customers, are fully compliant with federal, and are working hard to protect consumers from fraud. Learn more about the OLA Seal.
For media inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Online Lenders Alliance
The Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) is the first trade association in FinTech. OLA is focused on credit inclusion, bringing together a diverse group of innovative companies who share a common goal: to serve hardworking Americans who deserve access to trustworthy credit. Our members are entrepreneurs, publicly-traded companies, lenders, credit bureaus, advertisers, lead generators, compliance professionals, and software developers who are leveraging technology to responsibly improve consumers’ financial health. Consumer protection is our top priority and OLA members abide by a rigorous set of Best Practices and Code of Conduct to ensure consumers are fully informed and fairly treated. For more information, please visit www.onlinelendersalliance.org.