by Brett

Free Credit Reports Actually Free People From Their Money

from the from-bad-to-worse dept

Just when you thought credit agencies couldn't get any shadier or greedier, along comes the story of how they are duping customers into subscriptions that masquerade as free credit reports. A recent study found that two of the big three agencies, Experian and Trans Union, are connected to numerous websites that tout free reports (you only get one, if any) and ultimately sign you up for a credit report monitoring service (not free). The sites, with misleading names like and, coincidentally turn up at the top of Google searches for free reports; the only (and federally mandated) site that actually offers a free annual report,, barely registers a blip. We've come to expect as much from credit agencies, which have never made it easy for people to view their data and have gotten rich from selling them the privilege of monitoring the agency's success at securing that data. But now these companies have hit a new low: resorting to even more dubious marketing practices that shamelessly exploit (a) laws requiring credit reports to be made available for free, and (b) the public's heightened fears of identity theft.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2005 @ 10:32pm

    Go through

    Don't remember the name of the website that provides the government-mandated credit report?

    All you need to remember is "", look for the page about this law and, of course, the link to the website.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    thecaptain, 11 May 2005 @ 5:15am

    a suggestion

    You say the federally mandated site is barely a blip.

    It may help that situation if you put in a link to it in your story above (without linking to the sleazy ones you mention). This will not only raise it slightly in the google results BUT will also make it easy for someone who wasn't aware of this to get to it. (I've always ordered my CRs by mail, always free, but it takes a phone call and a couple of days wait).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, 11 May 2005 @ 1:48pm

    here's the site

    That was enough info for me to find the site (thanks, AC!):

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    your link didn't work, 13 Apr 2006 @ 8:00am

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    whodo, 21 Jan 2007 @ 2:09am

    free credit reports

    when I heard an add on tv advertising free credit friend said be care full.there's nothing free on the net.and she was almost right.the first 5 sites I went to wanted to give you a FREE extra.and if you dont cancel in 30 days. WELL,THEN IT COST'S $$$ what a scam. if you dont entenchonly sign-up for a service,and its advertising that IT'S FREE. THEY SHOULD HAVE NO LEGAL RECORSE FOR PAYMENT. and it should be free. I hope you guys are on the up and up. thanks WHODO

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.