Some sites that offer free credit reports will cost you
Friday, April 30, 2010
You’ve probably seen advertisements that use promises of free credit reports to try to convince you to buy paid credit monitoring services.
The Federal Trade Commission recently made one of those companies, freecreditreport.com, pay nearly $1 million in fines and refund money to customers for its misleading advertising. Customers went to the website expecting a free credit report, as the name implies. They were then charged for services that they didn’t knowingly sign up for. Experian and the other credit reporting agencies who own freecreditreport.com are now required to clearly disclose that the only place to get a free credit report is www.annualcreditreport.com.
A new North Carolina law pushed by Cooper requires credit monitoring services to tell consumers how they can get credit reports for free. Consumers are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228. To keep track of your credit all year long, request a free credit report from a different credit reporting agency every four months.
If you think you’ve been the victim of identity theft, please call Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division for assistance at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. For more information on how to protect yourself from scams, visit us at www.ncdoj.gov