How To Avoid “Free Credit Report” Scam Websites?
Free credit report scam websites are all over the place and understanding how to avoid these scams is essential. Since 2005 every citizen in the USA is legally entitled to receive a free credit report from all 3 major credit reporting agencies annually. This allows you to verify your credit report for any errors or mistakes that need to be corrected and monitor for any fraud or identity theft as well. Most consumers want their free copy but are not sure how to get it and the scam websites take advantage of this fact. There are some steps you can take to ensure that the credit report you get is actually free and you do not fall victim to the common scams on the web.
Avoid any free credit report websites that require you to sign up for a free trial in order to get your credit report. After the initial trial period you will be charged a fee for a service you do not really need. Other websites use email offers to lure you in to the website, and after you fill out all of your identifying information your identity is stolen. Some online companies say they provide a credit report with no cost but you must sign up for a financial service or product first and there is a charge for the product or service required. You should never have to buy anything, sign up for anything, or pay any money at all for a free copy of your credit report.
If you want the free credit report that you are legally entitled to annually, the best way to avoid the scam websites is to skip the Internet search engines completely. The federal government offers links and resources that are legitimate and verified. The best method to use is to contact each credit reporting company directly, and the information needed to do this is available on the federal government website. Any legitimate government website should end with .gov, and you should type in the web address carefully to reach the desired website. Many scam websites rely on typos and spelling mistakes in the web address to attract traffic. Carefully entering an accurate web address and only using verified addresses that lead directly to the federal government website or the specific credit reporting company is the best way to avoid being scammed.
If the goal is to get a free credit report without running into a scam, you should never click on any links or ads that offer your credit report for free. These links and ads almost always lead to a scam website where you will be required to sign up for something, buy something, or have your identity stolen and fraudulently used. The supposedly free copy of your credit report that you receive could end up costing you a lot later on. According to the Federal Trade Commission website the only online source that is authorized for the free annual copy of your credit report according to the federal law is annualcreditreport.com.