AOL Sells Ads To Website Under Attorney General Investigation

AOL apparently missed our post on how the Florida Attorney General is investigating FreeCreditReport.com.

Reader Robert saw a new tab on his AOL inbox with his screenname on it. When he clicked it, this showed up…

freecredit1.jpg

Which then brought him to FreeCreditReport.com, a site under investigation for, “”failure to adequately disclose negative option enrollment … deceptive advertising, misleading domain name, and failure to honor cancellations.”

freecredit2.jpg

Robert asks, “You would think AOL could pick a better partner ????”

We’re sorry, Robert, that you’re operating under the delusion that AOL cares about you.

Comments

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  1. Solo says:

    It clearly states *with enrollment in triple advantage (sm). Well, as clearly as you want to read it, with “The cost to see yours is $0″ in fonts three times as big.

    You could always get free ipods (with signing up 15 different online crap and jumping through hoops), that’s the same scheme (I can’t really call it a scam)

    There’s a lot that’s wrong with the credit reporting business in the first place, getting the freecreditreport.com crap exposed is a good start.

    But really, who is using AOL?

  2. Xkeeper says:

    Quite a few people, actually, my grandparents included.

  3. nikoniko says:

    Under the Fair Credit Reporting act, you’re entitled to request a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.

    There is only one official channel to make this request, and anything else is likely to designed to part you from your money, even if it’s being paraded under the guise of “free”.

    Here’s how to order a no-strings-attached three agency report, instructions courtesy of the FTC website (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.htm)

    “To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form is on the back of this brochure [does a website have a 'back'? ^_^]; or you can print it from ftc.gov/credit. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.”

  4. It does say on the ad on the AOL “with enrollment to triple advantage”

  5. CaptainRoin says:

    If your parents/grandparents use AOL because they can’t/won’t/don’t think they can figure some other service out do you really think that they won’t fall for these schemes (scams, whatever)? All of the deceptive trickery marketing that is on the internet these days drives me crazy. I know that that pop up that looks like a virus isn’t one but would someone’s parents/grandparents know that? I understand it’s one thing to make the ads but I think the site hosting them should take a little responsibility and screen their advertisers ads.
    Yes, all this is similar to the ” You may have already WON!” that I get in the mail, but there is quite a bit more mystery to the internets than there is to my snail mail.

  6. Triteon says:

    In AOL’s defense, they most probably accepted the advertising contract at least a couple of weeks ago, if not longer– contracts that may be tricky to cancel from the supplier’s standpoint. Most out-clauses involve prior notice of at least 14 days to the advertiser or agency except in the most egregious circumstances. The spectre of an investigation is certainly not enough to warrant cancellation by AOL of the schedule.