Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Be Wary of FreeCreditReport.com

A number of months ago I saw a TV commercial for FreeCreditReport.com who said you get a free credit report from them by going online and providing them with your information. I began filling out the information online to get a free credit report.

Then before I got the "free credit report" there was a ton of fine print and things they wanted me to agree to, including a fee schedule. I became suspicious. I read the fine print that I'd be charged money for some things, some services I didn't even want that they had rolled into the agreement that I'd get if they gave me the free credit report. In other words in order to get the "free" report I'd have to agree to pay for other services. If I refused to agree to their terms for the services which they charged for I'd not be able to get the "free" report.

I immediately stopped filling out the forms. But some of my data had been already provided to them by me.

Then my email inbox began being flooded with various emails which have my name plus my maiden name which I had to provide to them. I usually never tell my maiden name to anyone online. I am also now getting solicitations with my street address and my maiden name, inside of the emails. These usually are related to offers for mortgages, home equity loans and for services relating to my credit file and credit scores. This is a newer email address for me and I don't use it for many things. All my old online accounts with my home residence address are linked to a different email account.

I highly suspect that FreeCreditReport.com has sold my personal data to solicitors. If that is true there is nothing I can do about it.

It is very annoying to say the least.

Oh and I believe I blogged about it in the past, but I'll say again that we are entitled to a free credit report once per year in my state (Connecticut). However the agency that gives it is not this "FreeCreditReport.com" who keeps running television advertisements.

Also I had read personal testimonies online that people who did complete the application through "FreeCreditReport.com" ended up being billed for services and were being forced to pay money for services which they had not realized they had signed up for (they didn't read the fine print).

I'll file this post under "identity theft" as that is where I've blogged in the past about my identity theft and issues relating to credit reports in general.

Note that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating FreeCreditReport.com.

If you think about it logically why would a company run televison ads to tell us to use their service to get a free credit report which we are entitled to by law, what is in it for them? This company FreeCreditReport.com is making money off of other services they provide to consumers. Just know that if your state allows you to have one free credit report per year (or more) you do not have to go through a company who is going to charge you for other services that you may not necessarily want.

Here are some online articles about FreeCreditReport.com

Article on ConsumerAffairs.com with lots of testimony from consumers

FreeCreditReport.com Has Received My Lawsuit

MSNBC Red Tape Chronicles Article

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2 comments:

Daniel said...

This is the website set up by the government where you can actually get a free credit report from the big 3 bureaus (no strings attached, no subsequent solicitation; I've used it for the past two years without a problem).

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

Gino Reyes said...

you know what? problem with you americans is that you are the dumbest people on earth. you know how to read but you don't read things you are putting yourself into. and then you're gonna shout at the agents of freecreditreport.com because you have been charged? they become human shock absorbers just because you people are dumb. so the bottom line is use your eyes to read and comprehend things that you are signing up for. well, some people do, some are really just dumb to do so--take note, they are the ones who are really arrogant.