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Credit Monitoring Links

Below, you will find links to other consumer groups, publications and organizations with credit monitoring related information.

 

Credit Monitoring

When Free Becomes Fee (LA Times, May 14, 2007)

Discusses strategies for obtaining your credit report free, without signing up for credit monitoring (or anything else). Hint: Your free credit report is at http://www.annualcreditreport.com, not FreeCreditReport.com! Includes directions for receiving your free credit report by phone and through the mail.

 

Protectors, Too, Gather Profits From ID Theft (New York Times)

In this article, the major credit bureaus make a shocking admission: Your credit monitoring service will not alert you if an identity thief uses your Social Security Number with someone else's name. You creditors will see this new fraudulent activity but you will not.

 

Consumer Reports

The legendary consumer watchdog group has come out against credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. Here are a few articles related to credit monitoring:

 

Credit Protection: Rip-off Or Reality? (PBS Nightly Business Report)

This transcript of a segment on the nightly business news show starts with a sentiment heard more than a couple of times in this topic: "Companies in the credit business are marketing protection...Privacy advocates see irony in these credit monitoring services." Another caution is that signing up for these services may lead to "a flood of unsolicited offerings."

 

Regarding "Credit Monitoring Services" (Identity Theft Resource Center)

The non-profit group tried out the services personally and said they fell short of their expectations. They say that they still prefer to check their credit reports personally. They also call ID Theft insurance a "buyer beware" proposition.

Companies offering credit monitoring use the threat of identity theft as their main selling point. Yet this group dedicated to "helping people prevent and recover from identity theft" doesn't see the value in the services.

 

CIC Credit Monitoring Discussion (from RipoffReport.com)

A lively discussion with people who feel cheated by Experian's ConsumerInfo.com (CIC). New reports are being added almost daily and there we're well over a thousand as of this writing. Also includes advice for canceling and getting your money back if you signed up for the service.

 

Florida Attorney General Investigates FreeCreditReport.com (MSNBC Red Tape Chronicles)

Experian never seems to learn their lesson: The state of Florida has opened an investigation into FreeCreditReport.com's misleading advertising practices, failure to honor cancellations for the free trials and for attempting to confuse customers with their domain name, which is similar to the official site to receive your free credit reports: www.annualcreditreport.com. This comes barely a year after Experian settled a lawsuit for nearly a million dollars for almost the exact same charges.

 

The One and Only AnnualCreditReport.com (Realty Times)

Part of a series on the FACT Act, this article explores the world of fake Internet domain names (such as FreeCreditReportSource.com) meant to trick consumers into enrolling in credit monitoring instead of receiving their free credit report as mandated under the FACT Act. Warns readers: "Don't let your 'free' become a 'fee'."

 

Do You Need a Credit Monitoring Service? (Digital Credit Union)

Both a primer on credit monitoring and a nonjudgmental analysis on whether a credit monitoring service is right for you. An interesting (though unsourced) fact in the article is that "70 to 80 percent of credit reports may have errors."

 

Class Action Lawsuit Against Experian (Electronic Privacy Information Center)

Text of the class action lawsuit brought online privacy rights organization EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) on behalf of consumers misled by Experian's ConsumerInfo.com (CIC). A little dry as this is the official petition to the FTC. A FTC press release sums up the result of this successful suit in layman's terms.

 

FTC Consumer Complaint Form

Have you been cheated by a credit monitoring service? Here is where you can file a complaint. When you're done, share your experience on our Feedback page.

 

Originally Published:  Friday, March 9, 2007, 4:00 PM PT

Last Updated:  Saturday, July 16, 2011, 6:46 PM PT

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