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Beware of deceptive Equifax "Free Credit Report" sites

I was sent an interesting letter that was distributed to companies working as affiliates with Equifax about the official site Annual Credit and the many deceptive look-alike sites now out there.

Here's what Kent Mast, Corporate Vice President and General Counsel for Equifax, Inc., wrote, dated 3 October, to Equifax affiliates:

Dear Equifax Link Partner:

As you may know, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has expressed its concern that consumers seeking to obtain their free annual credit file disclosure, as provided by the FACT Act amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, not be diverted or misled from the only authorized website for exercise of this federal right,

The FTC has determined that any contrived URL that is similar to, and any attempts to misdirect consumers from, interferes improperly with consumers’ rights to request and receive their FACT Act credit reports. It deems such activities to be deceptive, misleading, and in violation of FTC Act; specifically, Section 5 prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

Recently the FTC sent letters to...