Identity Theft

Watch Out for the Newest Credit Score Scam

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The Better Business Bureau warned consumers recently about an email scam promising free credit scores. The BBB has received more than 2,700 complaints about a company offering free credit scores for seven days, after which there is a charge, and emails have also said links in these emails lead to a phishing scam and malware.

According to the BBB, the email sender uses a few names for the company, often using the word “free,” and the emails include URLs of legitimate sites that offer free credit information. Some of the sites direct consumers elsewhere, at which point they are urged to buy something or give over personal information.

Be Skeptical

Email scams are common, so you should always proceed with caution upon receiving an email from an unfamiliar source. Oftentimes, scammers impersonate companies with which you interact all the time, so you can never really let your guard down.

Looking for misspellings, like those that popped up in this scam, are a good indication that you may be dealing with scammers.

Don’t Let the Scam Confuse You

Make no mistake, you can get your credit reports and credit scores for free. In fact, you’re entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can also get your free credit report after you’ve been rejected for credit, and some states allow you to pull free reports more often.

As for credit scores, there are many ways to look at them for free. The free Credit Report Card updates two of your scores every month, and gives you a breakdown of the major factors impacting your scores.

The FICO Open Access program provides free credit scores to credit card customers of Discover, First Bankcard and Barclaycard. There are several other ways for consumers to get free credit scores, but there are legitimate services that require you to pay, too, so do a little research before giving anyone your personal information.

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Image: Vitaliy Hrabar

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