Washington (December 5, 2013) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), today called on the FTC to investigate websites operating as “lead generators” that collect personal consumer information and then transmit that data to predatory payday lenders, without consumer knowledge or permission. In such instances, consumers initially provide their sensitive personal information, including Social Security number, bank routing and account numbers, to a website offering short-term loans. However, consumers then may then be bombarded with loan offers charging exorbitantly high interest rates from a multitude of lenders they did not contact. In these cases, it may be unclear to consumers that their personal information will be shared with these other websites with which they have no business relationship. Consumers may also be under the impression that they are initially interacting with a lender, not a lead generator that is merely collecting personal information and then transmitting information to a payday lender for a fee.
“These business practices raise a number of concerns about what these lead generator websites do with consumers’ personal information, whether they store and secure it and whether these websites sell this personal information without consumers’ knowledge or consent,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to the FTC can be found HERE.
SOURCE: Senator Markey