FREE Credit Report Offer - Careful, It Might Carry Hidden Charges

FREE credit checks or free credit reports. What are they all about? Why every second company on the Net is offering you a free credit report? Are they all suddenly moved into a charity business?

Don't worry about their finances. Start worrying about yours. They are offering you a FREE Credit report as a bonus. Their main offer is something else - they want to sell you "credit check monitoring services". They claim they are going to protect you from identity theft.

In order to do that, they first ask you about all the details about your credit card and your bank accounts. Talk about a cat watching over cream distributions.

Their first move is to charge you for their services. Hold on, you say, I didn't order anything from them. Yes, that is correct. Almost. Remember, at the bottom of their page they wrote in very small letters that if you don't cancel their services, they are going to provide them.

And provide they will. First they are going to charge your credit card between $80 and $120, sometimes more. And we are not talking about some fly-by-night operations.

For example, is owned by Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the United States. A class action suit against and Experian alleging 'unfair and fraudulent business practices and false advertising' had been filed in 2004. It didn't stop many others like them from following the same practices.

If you are lucky to spot those charges in time, you can attempt to file a charge-back with your credit card company. It will not be that easy. It is your word against theirs. Those companies can claim that they provided a valid service for you, and for that they are entitled to a payment.

You scream: "What service?!" They respond: "We were watching over your account". There is no point in suing them. They have much more money than you to pay for their lawyers. If you are one of many, you can try a class action suit. But that can take years, and in the meanwhile your money are gone.

It will be much easier to stay away from free credit report offers. Especially from companies you know nothing about. They are not in charity related businesses. When they offer you credit report for free, they will try to make you pay for something else. Don't disclose all your financial information to them. You never know to whom they can sell this information.

Every time, when you get an offer to give you something for free, ask yourself first: "How is this company going to make money? What else will they want from me?"

If you don't find an answer to this question, don't disclose to such a company your credit card details. Their alleged "free help" might end up costing you more money.

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