OLA’s Pledge to Consumers
The Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) and its members recognize that it is important to provide resources and be an advocate for consumers of online small, short-term loan products. Therefore, we pledge to ensure that consumers are fully informed and use all lending products and practices responsibly by proactively issuing consumer alerts, providing a toll-free hotline to help consumers report fraudulent calls, and helping consumers work with their banks and credit card companies to get their funds back from fraudsters.
How to Know if You May Be a Victim of Fraud
It’s not always easy to recognize when you’re being taken advantage of by a fraudster, but there are signs:
- Legitimate lenders never charge an upfront fee for taking out a loan nor do they require an upfront payment on a pre-paid card.
- The callers often claim that the "victim” has defaulted on a loan, which the consumer may not have even received or has already paid back.
- They might refuse to give their real names, pertinent company information and valid physical locations of their offices.
- Scammers also often refuse to answer even basic questions about the loan, simply demanding immediate payment.
- They can also supply bogus reasons to explain why you have never heard of their divisions within certain companies or government agencies.
- Scammers may use abusive language and threaten that if the consumer doesn’t immediately send them money, he or she will be arrested. Remember, legitimate collections calls do not use threatening language and do not threaten arrest.
For more information, including what to do if you receive a threatening or possibly fraudulent collections call visit our Consumer Fraud Alerts page.
FTC Contact information
If you determine that a collection call is not legitimate, you should immediately report the call to your local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
OLA Consumer Hot Line
If you have questions or concerns about a possible fraudulent call, speak to live operators on the OLA Consumer Hotline: 1-866-299-7585. For more information, including what you’ll need before the call, visit our hotline page.
OLA Consumer Fraud Alerts
Make sure you know the latest tricks used by phony debt collectors. Visit the OLA Fraud Alert page so that you can recognize when a scam artist is pretending to be legitimate debt collector or a law enforcement official, and what to do when you receive a collections call.
OLA Consumer Tips
As part of OLA's ongoing mission to educate consumers about short-term, small-dollar loans, we provide tips to ensure that consumers understand the costs and risks associated with online short-term loans.
Whether you find yourself in an untenable situation, need credit counseling, or if you feel that you’re being contacted by fraudulent lenders or debt collectors, OLA is here to help.