Despite the musical claims of some TV commercials, the only authorized source to get your free annual credit report under federal law is AnnualCreditReport.com. To reinforce this message, the Federal Trade Commission is featuring two new videos with their own catchy tunes. Both videos are available at www.ftc.gov/freereports and www.YouTube.com/FTCVideos.
The new videos highlight the differences between AnnualCreditReport.com and those other sites that claim to provide “free” credit reports. Other sites require users to pay hidden fees or agree to additional services. For example, some sites provide a free credit report if you enroll in a new service. If you don’t cancel the service during a short trial period, you’re likely to see membership fees on your credit card statement.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – to provide a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com, a toll-free telephone number, or a mailing address. Details are at www.ftc.gov/freereports. Reviewing your credit report regularly is an effective way to deter and detect identity theft.
The FTC encourages people to post its videos on their own websites or blogs, and provides tools to help them do so. The jingles also are available as 30-second audio public service announcements at www.ftc.gov/freereports.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
(Free Credit Videos)