Free Credit Report Scams

Seen those catchy FreeCreditReport.com ads? Pretty funny, eh?

The funny part is that although it is there to allow you to see your credit report from the top three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — the site is actually owned by Experian. So once you go there you will be exhorted repeatedly to sign up for one of their pay services.

On Friday, March the unlucky number day, I was surfing the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) web site looking for scam alerts, and I found out the following

AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source to get your free annual credit report under federal law.

AnnualCreditReport.com

AnnualCreditReport.com

Pretty interesting. It’s AnnualCreditReport.com, and not FreeCreditReport.com. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – every twelve months.

The Federal Trade Commission has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit report, but instead paid hidden fees or agreed to unwanted services. Don’t be fooled by TV ads, email offers, or online search results. Go to the authorized source when you request your free report.

So if you’re looking for a real free credit report start by:

AnnualCreditReport.com even has their own commerical spot which pokes fun at the better known FreeCreditReport.com ads.

Best Way to Check Your Credit Report
The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Most people order all three at once, but a better approach is to spread them out or stagger them. That is, don’t get them all at once; instead, order one from one agency in January, then from a different one in May or June, and then from a different one in September or October. Then when the new year begins you can repeat the process. This allows you to montior your credit report all year round.

No matter how you request your report, you have the option to request all three reports at once or to order one report at a time. By requesting the reports separately, you can monitor your credit more frequently throughout the year.

Why should you request a credit report?
Because the information in your credit report is used to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, and renting a home, you should be sure the information is accurate and up-to-date. In addition, monitoring your credit is one of the best ways to spot identity theft. Check your credit report at least once a year to correct errors and detect unauthorized activity.

What should I look for when I review my credit report?
If you see accounts you don’t recognize or information that is inaccurate, contact the credit reporting agency and the information provider. For more information, read the FTC’s tips on how to dispute credit errors.

Lastly, if you suspect identity theft, you may need to place a fraud alert on your credit report, close compromised accounts, file a complaint with the FTC, or file a police report. Start by visiting the FTC’s identity theft website.

Check back here at Skylarking for more scam info. Next up: Free Government Grant and Economic Stimulus Scams on TV and Online. You can also watch the FTC news conference on these scams which was recorder earlier this month.



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16 comments

  1. […] The rest is here:  Free Credit Report Scams | Skylarking […]

  2. Alex says:

    Thanks for sharing. This is ftc free annual credit report videos.

  3. Samantha says:

    I like this vdo. they did a good kick back.

  4. Brandon says:

    The FTC is considering another change to the laws that regulate the reporting industry. In particular, they want to make the “free” credit report disclosures more prominent and easy to read. Of course, at some point, people have to assume some responsibility for their own actions — by reading the information before whipping out the credit card.

  5. Licorice says:

    I have tried several times to get my credit report from annualreport.com and have yet to receive it. They say you can order it over the website, not true in my case and when I have called, the animated computer is truly frustrating and after wasting my time last month, I haven’t received a thing. Tried it once again today. Why must I go through all of this aggrevation when I have all my information that nobody but me would know. Sad, sad, sad. Others seem to have been success, wish that were me. Then they ask for proof, which must be mailed along with SSN card, proof of address, etc. When I read the following then I understood my problem: “The following states have laws that make free credit reports available to consumers: Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont.” I’m not one of the lucky states, too bad. Now if I wanted to shell out $19.95/per month or whatever, I could get all the credit reports I want without any questions or hassles. How is that? Just Sad….

  6. Licorice, the site you mentioned “annualreport.com” is not a legitimate site for getting your credit report. AnnualCreditReport.com is the proper site. In my experience they didn’t mail me anything. I was able to print the report right from the iste.

  7. […] Free Credit Report Scams. There’s only one legitimate free credit report site, and it’s not the one you see on TV. […]

  8. Bunny Potts says:

    I went to the site creditreport.com. They were another scam. I called them the same day to cancel because they wanted me to sign up for credit scores from the free main credit bureaus. They have since taken $14.95 from my bank account. When I called to complain, they said I never called to cancel. They would only refund half of the money they took from my account. What a ripoff!!

  9. I find these commercials to be in poor taste. Especially considering that most peoples credit reports are ruined through no fault of their own. They should ban these commercials.

  10. Swasha says:

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