In today’s world of fraudulent transactions and identity theft on the rise, many Americans are savvy when it comes to keeping on top of their credit report. However according to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers have tapped into this source and are out to remind consumers that there is only one authorized source for the free annual credit report that is yours by law, Annualcreditreport.com. The Federal Trade Commission has received reports from consumers who thought they were receiving their free annual credit report, yet could not obtain it without paying fees or purchasing other services.
All of us are familiar with recent radio and television ads, or email offers that state ‘free credit report’, but in actuality they are not free.
Your free credit report can be requested online, by phone or by mail. Visit Annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or fill out the Annual Credit Report Request form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 Regardless of how you order your report, you have the option to request all three reports at once or to order one report at a time through the three nationwide credit reporting companies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. TIP: By requesting the reports separately, your can monitor your credit more frequently throughout the year.
It is not recommended to use public computers to order your credit report. Sensitive information is vulnerable and even when the history is erased when you log off, professional hackers can still recover the pages and information put in through your keystrokes risking your security. Also, be wary of others around who could be watching, sometimes called “shoulder surfing”. There are many fraudulent websites to include financial institutions that are set up to look legitimate and might even mimic the original website. Make sure you are entering the correct web address without any extra added letter or misspellings. Be proactive in protecting your personal financial information and help deter criminals from accessing or abusing your name and finances by remaining on guard and making wise decisions. If something in your credit report appears erroneous take the necessary steps to get it corrected at once.by Staff Writer