An online scheme luring consumers with “free” access to their credit scores was anything but free as the consumer was then billed a recurring fee of $29.95 per month for a credit monitoring program they never ordered.
The Federal Trade Commission has shutdown MyCreditHealth and ScoreSense, through at least 50 related websites, including FreeScore360.com, FreeScoreOnline.com and ScoreSense.com. The three companies have agreed to pay $22 million for consumer refunds under a settlement with the FTC and the state attorneys general in Illinois and Ohio.
According to the complaint the defendants failed to clearly disclose that consumers who accessed their credit score through their websites would be enrolled in a credit monitoring program and incur monthly charges until they called the defendants to cancel. At least 210,000 consumers contacted banks, credit card companies, law enforcement agencies, and the Better Business Bureau to complain about the scheme.
The only way consumers could cancel their membership and request refunds was to call a toll-free number. Consumers often had to make repeated calls to secure their cancellation or refund. The defendants often denied refunds to those who claimed they did not knowingly enroll.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
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