November 6, 2009

Ben Stein was axed by the New York Times last year for ethics violations when he appeared in a commercial for a bait and switch credit report scam. The ad claimed that consumers could get a free credit report, but in reality, they had to pay to see the real numbers.

Well, the FTC is now getting into the act and going after similar companies with some catchy commercials intended to emulate those of a popular advertising campaign by a similar bait and switch scam: is the ONLY authorized source to get your free annual credit report under federal law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — every twelve months. The Federal Trade Commission has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit report, but instead paid hidden fees or agreed to unwanted services. Don’t be fooled by TV ads, email offers, or online search results. Go to the authorized source when you request your free report. Read on...

Ok, so the ad is a little hokey, but the message is clear. I'm all for steering people to better alternatives and pointing out hackery when I can.

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