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Monday, March 1, 2010

FTC cracks down on advertising for non-free services while ordering your free credit reports

NewJersey.com reports on new restrictions by the FTC -
In an attempt to make sure credit reporting agencies don't put a fast one over on consumers seeking free credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission has adopted tough new disclosure rules in response to more than 1,000 comments it received from consumers and others last fall.

Under a federal law passed in 2003, the three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — are required to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report each year, but the agencies have found ways to recoup fees they used to get for those reports.

Part of the problem is that the gateway to the free reports — AnnualCreditReport.com — takes you through sites for the individual agencies. There, they try to sell services for which there is a fee, such as monthly reports (rarely needed) or your credit score (needed only occasionally).

And it's not just the three agencies, as other commercial sites use bait-and-switch tactics, drawing you in with the lure of free reports before pushing you to pay services.

Starting April 1, the commercial enterprises will still be able to sell their wares, but they'll have to do a better job of distinguishing between free and paid services.
The rest of the article can be found here - http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/85754242_Indeed__a_free_credit_report.html.

1 comment:

  1. Part of the problem is that the gateway to the free reports — AnnualCreditReport.com — takes you through sites for the individual agencies. There, they try to sell services for which there is a fee, such as monthly reports (rarely needed) or your credit score (needed only occasionally).
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    ReplyDelete