Are Credit Monitoring Sites Really Worth The Money?

Are Credit Monitoring Sites Really Worth The Money?

Now that everyone is so obsessed with their credit reports and FICO scores, credit monitoring services have popped up everywhere. For a modest recurring fee–one that easily adds up to over $100 a year–you can have a company constantly watch your credit report and alert you of any changes in it, so you can always be on top of your creditworthiness. But should you bother? The consumer director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups federation (U.S. PIRG) tells BusinessWeek that credit monitoring is a “protection racket” that turns people into “financial hypochondriacs… who are scared of their own financial shadows.” [More]

CARD Act Includes Limits On Not-So-Free Credit Report Ads

CARD Act Includes Limits On Not-So-Free Credit Report Ads

A less-reported provision of the CARD Act, the credit card reform bill signed by President Obama on Friday, puts limits on ads promoting that old Consumerist nemesis, “free” credit reports.

FTC Launches Own Singing Credit Report Commercials

FTC Launches Own Singing Credit Report Commercials

As we’ve said repeatedly, AnnualCreditReport.com is the good website to go to when you need to pull a credit report, because it’s actually free. The others, including freecreditreport.com, use the promise of free the way an angler fish uses its forehead-worm-thing to trap dumb little fish. The FTC has decided to fight fire with fire by releasing its own jingles. To be honest, we’re not 100% sold on them—they have kind of a squaresville, PBS vibe, which is gonna really hamper their viral power. Check them out below.

Yet Another Reader Scammed By FreeCreditReport.com

Yet Another Reader Scammed By FreeCreditReport.com

Here it is folks, your semi-annual reminder that FreeCreditReport is not free. Free credit reports can be found at AnnualCreditReport.com. FreeCreditReport.com is a pay site. As in you will be billed. As in not free.

FreeCreditReport Hires Ed McMahon To Rap In "Viral" Videos

FreeCreditReport Hires Ed McMahon To Rap In "Viral" Videos

We’re warning you now, so that you won’t bother to fall for the “you-gotta-see-this!” absurdity of an 85-year-old former talk show announcer and sweepstakes pitchman reduced to self-mockery in order to make some money. We don’t begrudge McMahon his career, but as you know we deeply begrudge “free”creditreport.com for its misleading name, commercials, promises—well, pretty much everything.

FreeTripleScore.com Will Cost You $30 Per Month

FreeTripleScore.com Will Cost You $30 Per Month

The rip-off site “freecreditreport.com” has a new competitor, and it’s running fear-mongering spots on the “we’ll air any commercial” cable nets (by which we mean G4). Freetriplescore.com warns you that your credit score can keep you from getting a job! But they’ll give you you “free” scores from the big three credit reporting agencies if you sign up for their $30 per month membership plan. Remember, the only “free” credit report website you should ever use is AnnualCreditReport.com. For free credit scores, on the other hand, check out Ben’s post.

FreeCreditReport.com Doesn't Practice Good Security Hygiene

FreeCreditReport.com Doesn't Practice Good Security Hygiene

You’d think a credit monitoring service—even one as skeevy as freecreditreport.com—would take great pains to keep up the appearance of security and confidentiality. You’d be wrong. When Brian called to cancel their service he was asked to call out his social security number and his mother’s maiden name, even though it turned out they could easily access his account and cancel his service with only his phone number and birthday. Oh, and the first CSR hung up on him, but (sadly) that’s not really very newsworthy anymore.

This Is Why You Don't Use FreeCreditReport.com

This Is Why You Don't Use FreeCreditReport.com

Jesus from South Texas signed up for credit monitoring at the notoriously scammy FreeCreditReport.com. He never received the confirmation email and wasn’t able to access his account, so he never used it, but forgot to call to cancel it. After three months he realized he was being charged $15 a month as per their terms of service, so he went to their site to retrieve his login credentials and was told the account didn’t exist. After that, it took him 4 calls to get the account canceled, and they would only refund him for one month of service. One of their CSRs tried to scare Jesus into keeping the account open because there had been some “suspicious activity” in his credit history that he’d be wise to monitor. Then they told him there is no phone number or email for their “customer satisfaction department”—it can only be reached through snail mail.

AOL Sells Ads To Website Under Attorney General Investigation

AOL Sells Ads To Website Under Attorney General Investigation

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