Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Scams and Misleading "Free" Credit Reports

After watching two family members fall victim to what I consider nothing more than a scam to steal your money by misleading people into joining credit report information services I thought it was time to set the record straight.

Your are allowed one free credit report from the big three reporting agencies each year. And filing for that report doesn't require that you file for or pay for any other services or commit to paying a fee to follow your credit scores.

The article below describes it best and shows the site you need to go too.

This site ( www.AnnualCreditReport.com ) is the ONLY site that is government approved and established by law to provide that service. ANY OTHER SITE is simply a site trying to get you to sign up for some paid service that is totally unnecessary for purposes of getting these free reports.

There maybe a good reason to join such a site if your reports require monitoring more often than once a year but this is beside the point that these sites make it seem that you can only get the free reports required by joining their service.

So don't get scammed into paying a fee for what is truly free if you just go to the right site.

Amplify’d from www.ftc.gov
Federal Trade Commission - Protecting America's Consumers

What is AnnualCreditReport.com?

AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that's yours by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit report, and yet couldn't get it without paying fees or buying other services. TV ads, email offers, or online search results may tout "free" credit reports, but there is only one authorized source for a truly free credit report.

I’ve seen a box at the top of some websites saying:

"You have the right to a free credit
report from AnnualCreditReport.com
or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized
source under federal law."

What’s this about?

A new law requires commercial websites that say they offer free credit reports to include a box letting you know you can get a free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Click on the link to www.AnnualCreditReport.com, the only place to get the free report that's yours by law.

Many companies claim to offer free credit reports – and some do. But others give you a report only if you buy other products or services. Still others say they’re giving you a “free” report and then bill you for services you have to cancel. If you go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com and follow the prompts for your free credit report, you can be sure the reports you get really are free.

How do I request my free credit report?

You can request your free report online, by phone or by mail. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or fill out the Annual Credit Report Request form and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.  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.  

Read more at www.ftc.gov

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