Credit Report News, Tips & Advice
Website CertifiedPrivacy Protected

New Laws clean up fake Credit Report Sites

By Faye Mergel
Published: Saturday, May 15th, 2010

AGERM-00291194-001Government Credit Bureaus have appealed to consumers through advertisements which contained humor and provide entertainment for the entire family. As customers enquired about the advertisement, they realized they were misleading as the credit reports were not free of charge. Consumers were to enroll in credit monitoring programs which they found hoodwinked them into paying hidden charges and enrolled them into other services they did not ask for. The companies made unsubscribing from these services very complicated and time consuming so as to have consumers remain enrolled in these services.

Fair Credit Reporting Act of 2004 gave consumers the rights to legally obtain free of charge credit reports from each of the three biggest names in Credit Bureaus. TransUnion, Equifax and Experian were to each give consumer’s one free credit report within a one year period.

This law was approved as a measure to prevent Credit Bureaus from auctioning credit reports of consumers to Credit Card companies who in turn based their marketing schemes on the information they received, manipulating consumers in order to get consumers to buy credit cards. Before this law was passed, consumers did not have enough access to their credit reports and enough information to meet their needs.

The FTC made provisions for a hotline which consumers could call at anytime to get their credit reports and also gave free of charge credit reports to consumers on its website, www.annualcreditreport. This gave consumers the opportunity to get free credit reports, legally.

As cliché as it seems, many fake websites were created by people looking to exploit consumers. The sites supposedly offered similar service as the FTC run site, free of charge. Consumers who did not unsubscribe their services within the trial period were henceforth charged with an annual fee. In some cases consumers were also subscribed into hidden services.

New rules and regulations which are soon to be implemented will prevent fake websites from conning consumers into services and from swindling money from consumers.

The FACT Act which was passed earlier this year stated that all websites were to clearly mention it is not affiliated with the government run website which provides free of charge credit reports.

The FTC’s David Vladeck said in a statement that Credit Bureaus were “to delay advertising for other products and services until after consumers have received their free annual credit report, and prohibits other practices that may interfere with a consumer’s ability to obtain a free annual file disclosure.” These advertisements are knows to confuse consumers and cloud their judgment. TV and mass media will also be affected by the new rules.

Acquiring credit reports from these companies offering “free” credit reports damage your credit scores as the impact of checking your reports through these companies is seen on your scores. Lower credit scores can affect a consumer’s chance for loans and job opportunities.

Statistics show that many credit reports have errors and can be fixed if checked through the right channels. Checking credit scores from government approved sites do not affect a consumers credit scores.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.