FTC Fights “Free Credit Report” Scams

The "FreeCreditReport.com" guys may have a cool jingle, but they could be scamming you out of a lot of dough.

The Federal Trade Commission spoke out Tuesday against sites that offer access to free credit reports, saying that the only regulated site for accessing credit checks is AnnualCreditReport.com.

"Don't be fooled by TV ads, email offers, or online search results," the FTC advised on its Web site. The FTC monitors AnnualCreditReport.com, the only authorized site for a fee-free credit check.

The FTC also released two videos lampooning the loopy FreeCreditReport.com dudes and other "free" sites. The videos are available for viewing on the FTC site.

The AnnualCreditReport.com Guys Go Irish
The AnnualCreditReport.com Guys Go Indie Rock

Sites other than AnnualCreditReport.com that say they'll give customers free credit reports often charge them for hidden fees or unwanted services, the FTC said. The FTC said it has received complaints from thousands of users saying supposedly free sites have taken their cash and run.

"Anyone can write a catchy jingle," the agency said in an obvious dig at the FreeCreditReport.com singing salesmen. The FreeCreditReport.com ads once featured TV personality Ed McMahon as a bling-wearing pimp.

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