Is A Scam

One lady reports that she started to get inexplicable credit card charges from After speaking to 12 different reps, she reached a supervisor who threatened to sue her because she had signed a contract. When she asked for the contract to be mailed to her, the supervisor said, they “couldn’t” print it out, they could only email it. To which the lady responded, “So how exactly is this going to hold up in court? What are you going to do, Email the judge?” Oh snap. Eventually, after a little more hassle, they canceled her account. Someone should have told her that the only place to go to for a free, no strings, no monthly fee access to your credit report is

Consumers Beware: [WYLFWT] (Thanks to John!)


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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m waiting for the obligatory Consumerist reader post that says something along the lines of “well it is her fault for not thoroughly investigating the website before dealing with them, she deserved it IMHO!”.


  2. Manok says:

    not as bad as the direct buy or video professor scams, but pretty shady nonetheless.

  3. Zimorodok says:

    I love images from credit monitoring/reporting websites. All these smiling, happy people examining their credit history. Having a great time. Making an evening of it!

    “Look honey, there’s when we signed up for our Amazon Visa card! Oh, memories…”

  4. humphrmi says:

    I admire her for sticking to the call to the scammers as long as she did. If it had been me, it would have gone like this:

    Scammer: “We’re going to sue you for …”

    Me: [CLICK]

    Me: “Hello, credit card company? Yeah, I tried resolving this fraudulent charge with the merchant, but they wouldn’t cooperate. Could you please issue a chargeback? Thanks.”

  5. newspapersaredead says:

    I guess this is good information for those who didn’t know this already, but I learned of this years ago.

  6. Parting says:

    ”What are you going to do, Email the judge?”
    Lol, great comeback :) i just hope she’ll get these charges reimbursed.

  7. TechnoDestructo says:

    I think it might have been better they’d gone with a .gov address for It looks more official, and it’s unmistakable.

  8. jmschn says:

    @TechnoDestructo: i agree with you on that one..a simple change from .com to .gov easily separates the legitimate from the dubious..

  9. MercuryPDX says:

    She should have went to o/` Freeeeee credit report dot com* o/` wait… they changed the jingle

    *Offer applies with enrollment in Triple Advantage.

  10. swalve says:

    @Guinness: Yeah, it’s completely normal to give your credit card number for something that’s free. I’m sure this lady is totally blameless, don’t worry about it.

    I’m surprised there are people there at all- can’t be all that much of a scam if they have a customer service department.

  11. pylon83 says:

    Seconded. God forbid people be expected to actually read the details of what they are signing up for. I mean, expecting that kind of due diligence from people is just crazy.

  12. Skiffer says:

    @jmschn: You mean, isn’t legitimate?!?

    Oh, wait…when did that stop being a porn site? It actually does look like it’s a legitimate political (not governmental) website now…

  13. bohemian says:

    It does not surprise me one bit that people fall for this. People do not read the fine print, some don’t read the big print. People just don’t stop and think. Some people are simply mental midgets. Because of people that don’t read and people that lack any common sense bottom feeders exist. Repeatedly pointing out that these are scams helps. The fed really does need to make it clearer who is the legitimate site and all others are not. The .gov thing would be a start.

  14. MercuryPDX says:

    @bohemian: The problem is they only give out .GOV addresses to government agencies that meet a stringent list of requirements. “Central Source LLC” won’t ever meet those, but perhaps can do a better job promoting it on their site.

  15. caj11 says:

    @swalve: @pylon83:

    If you read the story from the beginning you’ll notice that she signed up for an $8.95/month service, knowing full well she’d have to give her credit card number to do so (the “free” credit report was merely an enticement). She was fine with that. It was when they sent her a report that she said was difficult to read and offered little information that she wanted to cancel the service. Then they were charging her more per month and not providing the service at all. Unless the merchant immediately corrects their mistakes she should be entitled to cancel.

    The company may not be a total scam though, rather a thinly staffed and poorly run operation that relies on people setting up the service, forgetting about it, and not caring about the $8.95 (or $11.95) monthly charge on their credit card, dutifully paying it along with all the other charges. America…the Land of Opportunity!

  16. Jon Mason says:

    Just because a company offers an unneccessary service, doesn’t make it a “SCAM”. Shady/annoying, yes. But not a scam – a scam implies some form of deception/fraud when there appears to be none. It’s not like they are even hiding their terms – within 2 seconds of going to the website I saw them right there on the first page, and they even provide a link to the ‘real’ government site. Anyone who gives out their credit card number and clicks agreements to terms/conditions they clearly have not read/understood is in no position to act like a smartass when trying to get their money back.

  17. timmus says:

    @Guinness: I’m waiting for the obligatory Consumerist reader post that says something along the lines of “well it is her fault for not thoroughly investigating the website before dealing with them, she deserved it IMHO!”.

    Good point, and there has been a lot of that going on here. I seriously think that some major PR corporations have established a foothold here to defensively astroturf their clients. Think about it — why would a competent PR firm not nip embarrassments in the bud? For that reason I think many of the “blame the victim” people here are in fact employees.

  18. humphrmi says:

    @masonreloaded: When someone signs up knowing that they will be charged monthly and accepts that, right – it’s not a scam. When they get the product (in this case a report) and it doesn’t live up to the customer’s expectations, the customer should be able to call and cancel. When the customer calls to cancel and is threatened with a lawsuit, it has gone from being shady to being a scam.

  19. kcs says:

    Thanks again Consumerist for the great info! The other day I needed to get my credit report for an apartment application. I couldn’t remember which credit site was legitimate so I went to Consumerist and searched for “free credit report.” You saved me some hassle and probably some money.

  20. ShortBus says:

    @Zimorodok: I know you’re being factious, but you’re not that far off the mark. :-) Repairing our credit together is my and my SO’s primary shared hobby. I’m sure we look like the above picture when showing each other our results. lol

  21. pylon83 says:

    Ok, a lot of people have been bringing this up. I’ll admit that I have a tendency to “blame the victim”, but I think this is due largely to my inability to take a story at face value. There are always things we’re not told. I have a natural propensity to wonder what those things are. Further, someone has to be the devils advocate, right? Let me say that I don’t work in PR, retail, or even for a large corporation. I work for a small law firm as a law clerk, where I actually started today. While I won’t say that I think it’s impossible that a PR person would comment on here to defend their corporation, I think that the number of those people is very small.
    Maybe those of you who always agree with the consumer/poster need to open your minds a little and at least be receptive to the other side of the story/argument. It gets a little bit old when the pro-consumer side can’t tolerate having someone take a position that is not aligned with theirs.

  22. dcartist says:

    Why can’t some hackers and DOS these bastards constantly?

    Seriously, there should just be a white hat hacker squad just to screw over these scam websites.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Did you guys even bother to click on the link and read the article? Because your post more than proves that you did not. And that really reflects poorly upon what you guys bring to the table here at The Consumerist.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Argh it didnt follow @swalve: @pylon83:

  25. Leiterfluid says:

    I second that. After the posting about the other day, I decided to check out the good site at
    The only thing I want to share about my experience is that I think it was worth paying extra for a one-time peek at my FICO score. It was about $8, and I bought my score at both TransUnion and Equifax because it appears that TU is using FICO ’08 whereas Equifax is using the older scoring system.

  26. pylon83 says:

    I wasn’t responding to the article as much as I was responding to the general comment made by SWALVE. I’ll admit I didn’t read the article, and that’s why I didn’t comment on the substance of it.

  27. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    Shouldn’t these companies be required to advertise the actual service they are trying to pitch instead of the freebie that comes with it? It should look something like this:

    Sign up for TripleAdvantage, and get a free credit report!

    I’m surprised that the government has not taken more steps to eliminate scam artists who advertise (discreet ads) like this.

  28. forgottenpassword says:

    Not really completely related, but what gets my goat about the REAL free credit report people (experion, equifax, Transunion)…. is that they just give you the report & not your actual credit score. They want you to pay for that!

  29. Michael Belisle says: really is a scam. I had charges on my credit card in November from MNI (Mighty Net, Inc) Credit Report services, who runs, having never been to their site. I typed their name into Google and found page after page of complaints about the company, mostly similar to this woman’s experience. I did a chargeback with Chase and called MNI. The latter told me that I was the victim of fraud and requested a subpoena for any more information.

    I’m very suspicious about who was responsible for the charges; the timing of was way too convenient as they were exactly 1 year (to the day) after I requested a credit report from Transunion from This info is in my credit report in the section that can supposedly only be seen by me.

    There’s no way I believe that some some credit card thief just happened to use my credit card to sign up for credit report monitoring services on the anniversary of getting a report from Transunion. (My unqualified conspiracy theory is that they have an offshore credit-report ordering farm, where workers order reports hoping the individual won’t notice or think it’s related to something legit due to the convenient timing.)

    In other news, they were sued by and settled with Experian for copying the look of Experian’s equivalently shady [] (see [] ).

  30. Michael Belisle says:

    @pylon83: As other people pointed out, this woman’s experience is not unique: [] . MNI worked hard to earn A C from the BBB: [] . A C is the 3rd lowest of 11 grades on the BBB’s scale of relentless optimism. (Only D and F are lower. Anyone know what it takes to earn these grades from the BBB?)

    You’re out of line by saying “open your minds a little” here.

  31. Michael Belisle says:

    Oh maybe my ordering farm theory isn’t so far off base. From the BBB: “This company uses a marketing method known as negative option cancellation. With this method, products and services are sent to consumers unsolicited, and unauthorized charges appear on credit cards. Usually, materials sent with the product or service will allow a specified time period for cancellation and return without penalty or obligation. However, many overlook the advisory, and are unaware of the charge until their next monthly credit card statement. In some cases, consumers find they are unable to contact the company to arrange returns or ask for credit. Most credit card issuers will allow the cardholder 60 days to dispute an unauthorized or inaccurate charge. Review your monthly statement carefully. If you discover a charge which is unfamiliar, investigate and dispute the amount with your card issuer as soon as possible to protect yourself from making unwanted purchases.”

    I wasn’t aware of “negative option cancellation”, which to me reads like a description of a scam. The FTC has looked into it, apparently: []

  32. MikeB says:

    @TechnoDestructo: I think it would have been smart for them to also register

  33. darkened says:

    For people that are considering a service monitoring their credit I recommend I recently signed up for (for the triple advantage) but it’s quite deceptive you only get your experian credit report once a month and the date appears to be random for them to give you the credit report. To view all 3 credit reports you must pay a per use fee of $15 or $25.

    With you get unlimited access to all 3 credit reports and fico scores, credit locking for all 3 major CRAs (think life lock), identity theft insurance, and credit report monitoring for changes.

    Every day you can request either a full new copy of your three reports or a single report from trans union that runs a comparison on every line in it and points out anything that has changed (ie payment status, balances changed, limits etc). I am very pleased with truecredit. Freecreditreport is garbage, avoid it like the plague.

    You know a company is bad when you call their customer service and the very first button after 1. for english 2 for spanish is press 1. to cancel.

  34. Michael Belisle says:

    @mbouchard: predates by 5 years. The former is run by Experian. The government could have picked a less similar name.

  35. Michael Belisle says:

    Wait, the only only part of the woman’s story that has anything to do with is the first line, followed by “had a link to a credit monitoring site”. CIC Credit Monitoring Service is associated with [] .

    Is that really the site that charged her? Why doesn’t she say the name of the site she signed up with?

  36. Michael Belisle says:

    Her story sounds like the scenario that resulted in FTC vs. in 2005 [], and further action a year ago because they violated the agreement [] .

    That has nothing to do with

  37. shadow735 says:

    hey I can get anyones info and credit card numbers, all I have to do is dress nice and approach people in a mall stating they can get a free gift certificate for doing a survey. People are so stupid and gullible its pathetic.
    It almost like they have the word SHEEP tattoo’s on their forhead.
    People need to wake up and start thinking, stupidity is one of the main reasons people get scammed.

  38. swalve says:

    @timmus: I just defend common sense.

    Did ANYONE read the article? The first thing she says is that she was on and then clicked a link to some other site.

  39. TechnoDestructo says:


    I think “” came first.

  40. arjune says:

    I work for the truth is that the service is outlined to the left of the order now button, again to the right of where the credit card information is requested, in the terms and conditions, and in the welcome email that is sent out. We take calls every day from people who did not realize that by pulling their credit report their husbands credit report and their childs credit report that qualified as three separate enrollments, people who say they canceled their service by closing the internet browser, people who say that they did not get the email when lo and behold they gave a fake email address because they did not want any junk mail, who admit that they read the first part which says by ordering their free credit report they would automatically be enrolled in a free trial and then stopped reading because they saw the word free and did not bother to continue reading the rest of the paragraph which went on to say of credit monitoring. You will recieve automatic notifications of changes to your credit report. You will be billed $11.95 (sometimes a different price we run specials and the price has incresed from past offers) for each month that you continue your membership if you do not cancel within the trial peroid. You may cancel anytime their is no obligation. We also recieve calls from people who feel they should get their money back because we let them know that a credit card opened in their name and they did not get a credit card. I try to tell them that is what the service is for to help you detect fraudlent activity and recieve responses such as “You bleeping bleep you put this on my bleeping credit report. You are a horrible person how can you live with yourself. How can you put something on my report that I did not do. You bleep” I try to tell them that someone may be using their information to open a line of credit and we would be happy to help them address the problem and they insist that I personally used their information to open a new credit card. We recieve calls from people who are mad because we forced them to enroll in monitoring to pull their credit report. No we did not hold a gun to their head and force them to put in their information. They did that of their own free will and if it was not the service they wanted they could have used another website or called the bureaus directly. We offer trial packages including the credit report, access to the website , and the credit monitoring. If you dont want it, dont use it. And always if you are asked for your credit card information ask yourself why and look and see if their is an explanation somewhere nearby (like just to the right of where it asks for your credit card number).

  41. arjune says:

    I just want to make clear in referance to my above post I work for I am not a PR agent nor does my above post in any way represent a legal statement on behalf of the company. I am simply a call center employee who would like to set the record straight. Please do not take this as an authorized statement by the company itself. Tis is my oppinion which is based on information drawn from the website and experiance talking to the customers.

  42. MaudeWildfowl says:

    I have purchased from this company many times, and they used to be good. I would buy a 3 bureau report with no problems. Then, one time I signed up for the “free credit monitoring service” with promise that I could cancel at any time in the first 30 days. I cancelled shortly into it by email, and then got charged about a month later anyway. I called them and they said “You can’t cancel by email, you have to cancel by phone”. I thought that was rather stupid and another have-to-read-it-in-the-fine-print sort of thing, but proceeded to cancel by phone. I didn’t even worry about it after that, till I realized several months later that they were STILL charging my card monthly. I called them to cancel AGAIN. I believe it took one more call after this before they finally cancelled my order and quit charging me monthly. They got money out of me for around 6 months.

    Well, I stupidly figured that it would be safe to buy JUST a credit report and not sign up for anything recurring, since I had done this before with no problems. Well, what do you know? A couple months later I see 9.95 posted to my card. I call them up, and ask them why I’m being charged and they try to tell me that I bought some sort of credit monitoring service. I NEVER EVER EVER signed up for this. The lady even admitted on the phone that I didn’t sign up for it, and it “signs you up automatically”. I told her if I didn’t sign up, then it wasn’t legal to charge me and to refund me. She stated that they do not have a refund policy. I told her I wanted a manager. She transferred me to a manager, who told me that somewhere in the fine print it automatically signs you up for this service ,unless you opt out, when you are placing an order. I did not see this, and I ALWAYS look for stuff like this. I personally own a company and would never in a million years do something like that to my customers, and if I did, I would expect them to be as mad as I was. The lady refused to refund me, so I told her I’d call my credit card company to get it reversed. I called my bank, and they reversed it right out. BEWARE. is a horrible company to work with. They’ve lost a customer for good.

    • Anonymous says:

      I signed up for this site by a link from someone on craigslist for a Condo in Buffalo. They wanted my credit score (number only) to screen applicants. I used the link which took me to and got a real credit score number. I could not find a way to cancel the service so I decided to deal with it later. Later on I tried to return to the site but the link would only take me to and would no longer return me to, and I couldn’t get to the original site by entering it into the address bar. Upon investigation of the condo, it doesn’t exist. The address on the ad was a wrong address conveniently located directly next to a condo building which appears on google street view. The craiglist ad was to direct people to use that fraudulent site ( and gain financial information to naive people such as myself. DON’T USE IT.

  43. Karen Brill says:

    Whatever you do don’t EVER use credit to find out your credit. They issue debits on your account even after you have canceled the service. They also will not give you your money back for their mistake/fraudulant policies. They just want your money!

  44. Flash says:

    These people are thieves. They tried to get me for two charged, unauthorized, totalling almost $50.00. I’m on a fixed income and this type of thing really hurts! I had to post a denial with my bank which in turn cost me $7.50 for card reissuance. Why isn”t there someone at the Attorney General’s office to shut these scam”scum” artisits down? Gordon.

  45. affableambler says:

    I received this email from a craigslist housing post I responded to:
    Thanks for taking the time to email me about the place.
    Im attaching pics for you to look at.
    We thought we had the place rented last week to a young couple, but communication has dropped off. you are the first person to email about it since we put it back on the market . It would only be fair that we gave you the first shot at the property.
    Normally, we would prefer a year lease, but would also be open to shorter terms. I’m sure that you will want to see the property before making a final decision. I will accept pets no more than 3. I would simply give you the address and let you swing by, but my wife is against blindly advertising an empty home online. Rest assured the home has been up kept properly and had a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint. Basic utilities are currently on, but we expect that you would get them put into your name fairly quick.
    If you want to go ahead and schedule a time to see the property, go to the link below and print off the free copy of your report. Your score isn’t necessarily important, we’re just interested in seeing that there are no evictions / landlord related judgments.
    Click here for the Free Online Score
    I am very open as far as appointments go to show the property. Any morning after 10am is fine. Just let me know when you have everything printed and be sure to leave me a contact number to reach you at and any desired time. I will call you to confirm a time and choose a place to meet.
    Thanks for looking,

    The link is a referrer URL that leads to Could someone tell me if this is a scam?

  46. LUMI says:

    Boy does this strikes a nerve. My husband and I just tried the SAME THING WITH this company called and they have been billing us $14.95 for 17 months. This month they raised it to $19.95. We talked to them and they said frankly not our problem you signed for it you eat it. Well, I just spend an hour trying to get my free credit score from different sites including and to my amazement you cannot without signing for some credit check with a company called that will probably start billing your account for whatever they can. HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENNING? Do they think they will get away with this? Are these the people who guard our credit, really? I am on a crusade to discredit this type of business practice and I want my money back from them, every penny of it. I am sending this report to the Federal Trade Commission and every agency Federal and State that can do something about it. BE VERY CAREFUL. These people are supposed to be watching out for us and they engage in these practices with these other companies who practice usury, plain and simple. I do not like the government intruding in business but if there is one item that needs GOVERNMENT monitoring, this is one.