The Common Question; "How do I get a copy of my (really) free credit report?

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A consumer notified me of a press release they stumbled across yesterday entitled " Addresses The Common Question, "How Do I Avoid Identity Theft?"  

I followed the provided links directly to the site and when the page opened -I felt duped -just as the person who alerted me to it did.  Why? Because with a quick visit to the site, it's easy to see what they are promoting -fake free credit reports.  "FREE CREDIT REPORT AND SCORE" from Experian" was boldly displayed across the landing page.

Though the press release claims they are addressing the question of "How do I avoid Identity Theft" personally, I think the question they should be addressing is  "How do I get a copy of my REALLY free credit report?"

The good news is newly signed credit card reforms, will now require these types of advertisements touting free credit reports to include a disclosure statement:

 "This is not the free credit report provided for by Federal law".

Federal law allows consumers the right to receive a free copy of their credit report -from each of the big three credit bureaus, once every 12 months. Establishing ads, websites, commercials and even press releases designed to push consumers to sites touting something is free -when it isn't is similar to a bait and switch practice that is deceptive - and should be outlawed.

It's been reported that 1 in 4 credit reports have errors so it is important to review our credit reports at least annually looking for both errors and potential red flags that could indicate an identity theft. Consumers should  take advantage of their right to a free annual credit report but  "Finding free credit reports requires knowing where to look"

Here's a spoof video offered by the Federal Trade Commission pointing consumers to the right place to get their no-strings attached free credit reports (NOTE: To get copies from each credit bureau, you can order all three at once  -or stagger them and order one from each bureau every few months. You can also utilize the little known legitimate, toll-free automated line by dialing 877-322-8228)

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