What Is a Credit Report Scam?
Everyone is entitled to get a free credit report each year and that is the time where scammers will take advantage of that opportunity. A credit report scam is when someone tries to trick you out of your money, your personal information, or worst they can do both.
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You must be very careful in getting your credit report because there are sites that offers free credit report but in reality, they are not completely free. There are some hidden charges behind their “free” offer and you may end up paying a bigger amount to access your credit report.
Ways to Avoid Credit Report Scams
- Type the URL of your trusted site of free credit report directly into your browser. You have to make sure that the spelling is correct because there are scammers who try to take advantage of misspelled URLs.
- If that site requires you to input your credit card number, then it is a fake site. You do not have to input your credit card number to read your credit report and most trusted site free credit report will not need you to do so.
- Don’t sign up for anything, accessing your credit report does not need you to sign up.
Where to Get a Free Credit Score Report (and Scams to Avoid)
Avoid these credit report offers and use these trusted sources instead.
- Do not open or respond to an email that offers a free report example. Delete that email immediately.
- Avoid sites that ask your credit card number and information. Authorized and trusted credit report website will never ask for any of that information.
- Do not agree to request your credit score as part of an application. This is a scam.
- Access your credit report from AnnualCreditReport[dot]com. This site is the only site authorized by the government to issue annual credit report.
How to Know if Credit Report Sites Are Safe
According to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act or FACTA), everyone is entitled to receive a free copy of their annual reports.
Since then, the three largest credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—collaborated to create a central online portal where you can access your credit report. However, because of that act, scammers or “free credit report” impostors sites are quickly growing.
Here are the steps for you to know which credit report sites are safe.
- Avoid emails that offers you a free credit report. Trusted credit bureaus will never contact you by email or phone to offer you a free credit report or invite you in creating one. This means, that all free credit offers that you receive by email are fake and a scam.
- Avoid visiting sites that have a “free credit report” in the URL. Obviously, it is the way for the scammers or impostors sites to make you sign up for a trial then asks for your credit card information and take advantage of your money.
- Access your credit report only through AnnualCreditReport[dot]com. As mentioned above, only the AnnualCreditReport.com is the trusted and authorized credit report website that gives you access to your credit report.