The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a reasonably new law that was passed by the government that permits every person to get a free credit report once a year. This law came about due to the worrying increase in identity theft. Your free credit reports are generally available by ordering them online, through a toll free number, or by mail and you can request your credit reports from all 3 of the credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
The Only Official Website for Requesting Your credit Report
You should not have to fret about free credit report tricks as the 3 credit reporting companies have set-up an official internet site, annualcreditreport.com, where you can order your free credit report once each year. They also have a toll free number, 1-877-322-8228, and a mail address, 1-877-322-8228. You can print out the form from the FTC’s web site at ftc.gov / credit.
Free Credit Report Cons
With this new law and the straightforwardness at which you can securely request your credit reports, there should be no free credit report tricks. Sadly, most people don’t know about their rights and so they look on the net for free credit reports. The identity thieves and scam artists have taken advantage of un-informed folks by building their own credit report websites to trick you.
These free credit report con internet sites typically charge you a small fee to get your credit reports when in truth they are free. There are other fake credit report websites which will offer you free credit reports but they may ask you for personal information like your Social Security ID or your credit card information.
A number of these scam sites will use this info to rob your identity and leave you with debts and other legal issues. Others, while not always illegal, will trick you into a cost-free trial and then charge your credit card for a monthly charge after the free trial has ended. Please don’t fall for these con sites; use the official contact information above.
What to Keep an Eye Open For so You Do Not Get Conned
Some of the trick sites will attempt to trick you by using a corresponding name to the official free credit report site; in other words they may register a website domain name very close to the official annualcreditreport.com site. They do this in the hope that somebody will make a spelling mistake while typing in the domain. Other scam sites will use the name “free credit monitoring”, “free credit scores”, or “free credit reports” in their web address – they’re possibly scams.
Other tricks involve the utilization of e-mail or phone. The scammers will say that they’re from either the annualcreditreport.com site or from one of the three credit reporting agencies. They might ask you for private info or they will direct you thru a link in the e-mail to a fraudulent credit report site. Don’t give out any private info over the phone unless you were the one who instituted the call, and don’t click any links in email from these type of free credit report offers. Also, be conscious of pop ups, when browsing the internet, that offer you free credit reports.
Request Your Free Credit Reports
Do not forget to always request your credit reports by employing the official contact details above. The Net is a superb source of information but it is also home to a bunch of good for nothing con artists expecting to make a quick buck. One reason to request your credit reports every year is to keep an eye out for any weird activity that might mean you’re a victim of ID theft. One more reason is to check your reports for any information that is inaccurate that might have an affect on your credit score – you can and should try to raise your credit score.