Have you ever noticed how many “get a free credit report” commercials are on tv anymore? How do you know which ones are legit and which ones are milking you? It really is ridiculous that there are so many of these bogus sites out there and there is only ONE true certified site out there, don’t be fooled…
I haven’t been to the website yet, because I keep thinking I “may” buy a new car at some time and don’t want to blow the free check now and risk not knowing it when I really am interested in the car. Again, the frugal bug biting me because it isn’t that expense or problematic to use MyFico or think that my score is any lower.
I don’t plan on buying a new car for a while, but I have been thinking my car may run out of juice soon; but that is yet to be determined also.
So the meat of the article, the authentic site you go to get your free credit report (with no strings attached) is www.annualcreditreport.com.
Well, who says that they are the “official” site of the free credit report realm?
Well that’d be the FTC:
“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises consumers who order their free annual credit reports online to be sure to correctly spell annualcreditreport.com, or link to it from the FTC’s website to avoid being misdirected to other websites that offer supposedly free reports,but only with the purchase of other products. While consumers may be offered additional products or services while on the authorized website, they are not required to make a purchase to receive their free annual credit reports.”
Well what is the big beef with ordering it from the “other” sites that advertise on TV?
Well, the short story is that they may end up costing you money for products you neither need nor want. Some sites are even crafted up (there is a niche for everything) to actually be a fraud designed to steal your personal information. Stay away!
I’d like to say there is more security wrapped around this, but apparently it is like the Nigerian “send-me-5%-3.25-million-dollars-that-is-locked-due-to-security” scams that are out there. You really need to watch out for those.
The FTC tries to keep a database of the bad offenders but clearly, just like spam and taxes, keep cropping up everywhere. Also the World Privacy Forum keeps tabs on the database as well, but like I said, it grows fast, so keep an eye on it.
Long story fairly short, just use www.annualcreditreport.com when you’re curious where you’re cooking and save yourself a lot of hassle and possible fraud.
Photo by: RichT