Credit Monitoring Company to Pay $22 Million in Refunds for Deceptive Advertising
An online credit monitoring company will pay $22 million in refunds to customers it lured into paid services without their expressed consent.
A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint states that the company provided free credit reports to consumers, then automatically enrolled them into a credit monitoring program costing $29.95 a month without their knowledge. Consumers often had difficulty cancelling their membership in the program.
At least 210,000 consumers contacted banks, credit card companies, law enforcement agencies and the Better Business Bureau to complain about the scheme.
The programs, called MyCreditHealth and ScoreSense, were marketed through at least 50 websites including FreeScore360.com, FreeScoreOnline.com and ScoreSense.com. According to the FTC, they bought advertising on search engines such as Google and Bing so that ads for their websites appeared near the top of search results when consumers looked for terms such as free credit report.
As part of a settlement with the FTC the company will pay $22 million in refunds and is prohibited from enrolling consumers in programs without their expressed consent, using deceptive marketing tactics and failing to honor a refund request.
Each of the national credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — are required by law to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. This can be done through annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized site to fill these requests. For more information, visit the FTC website.