FTC Prevents Fake Rental Company from Selling Credit Monitoring Services
The Federal Trade Commissions has temporarily stopped Credit Bureau Center LLC from luring unknowing consumers into expensive credit monitoring contracts. The FTC alleges the company used fake rental property listings and free credit reports to get people to pay for credit monitoring they didn’t want.
A federal court has halted the operations while the FTC gathers more evidence for their complaint. The organization is alleging that Credit Bureau Center LLC developed ads on Craigslist for rental properties that did not exist or were not available for rent. Consumers responding to the ad received emails from company representatives posing as property managers. Applicants were to be given a tour of the property after going through a “free” credit check, but those tours never took place. Instead, the clients were enrolled in credit monitoring services that cost $29.94 a month. Many did not discover the charges until several months after being signed up.
Providing free credit reports in exchange for subscription credit monitoring services is not new. In fact, this is one of the main ways that credit monitoring companies get their customers. Nevertheless, those companies are required to operate with a certain level of transparency, as outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Free Reports Rule. Under these regulations, consumers must be informed of their ability to obtain a truly free credit report once a year from each bureau at AnnualCreditReport.com. Credit Bureau Center LLC did not provide that information in their scheme.
The company operated under the name MyScore LLC in the past, and it currently operates the sites eFreeScore.com, CreditUpdates.com, and FreeCreditNation.com. The FTC has not released an official date for the hearing yet, but they did say that “the case will be decided by the court.”