Experian's 'Free' Credit Reports Not SoFree

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WASHINGTON - (08/19/05) -- The Federal Trade Commission said ithas fiend Experian $1 million and ordered to repay customersmillions of dollars for misleading and deceptive marketing fortheir 'free' credit reports. The FTC said as many as nine millionconsumers signed up for free credit reports through Experian'sFreecreditreport.com and Consumerinfo.com websites, and also a free30-day trial of a credit monitoring service. But, if the consumersdid not cancel the credit monitoring service within 30 days, theircredit card was automatically charged $79.95. The FTC said thecompanies billed credit cards even though they told consumers thenumbers were needed "only to establish your account," notdisclosing the charge and not getting permission to charge accountsviolates federal law.

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