ARLINGTON, Va. (October 7, 2022)— One of the Online Lenders Alliance’s core missions 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 and fully compliant with applicable laws. In the wake of catastrophic events, like the deadly and destructive hurricane Ian that recently caused widespread damage across the southeastern United States, fraudsters often see an opportunity to take advantage of those looking for aid and assistance as they get their lives back on track. Consumers should thus be wary of potential financial and lending scams and be especially vigilant when seeking financial resources or being contacted about their finances, including:
- 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.”
Other resources are available via Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Financial Toolkit for Victims of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, and the FTC’s article What to Know About Advance-Fee Loans.
Consumers who have issues with a fraudulent lender or are seeking assistance with an online loan are always free to use the OLA Consumer Hotline, a free resource to report fraud and help navigate 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.
OLA also reminds consumers that if they are seeking an online loan, they can 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, fully compliant with federal law, and working hard to protect consumers from fraud. Learn more about the OLA Seal.
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.