Financial Privacy

Call Don’t Click Update: Still be smart about ordering federally mandated free credit reports

The World Privacy Forum cautions consumers who qualify [1] to order a federally mandated free annual credit report [2] to ensure that they take common-sense computer safety steps before ordering their credit report online. [3] If consumers are unsure about any aspect of securing their computers, calling for a credit report via the official toll free number (877-322-8228) is a good option, as is mailing in for the report. [4] Both the phone and the mail options generally expose consumers to fewer potential hazards than the online option. [5]

Call Don’t Click Update: Discussion of Findings

Researchers documented that 233 domains containing the keywords annual credit report or close misspellings of annualcreditreport.com had been registered. [17] Of the total registered imposter domains, 112 +/- 3 were online and available to consumers as of June, 2005. The pretender domains showed up in some search engine results, and some of the pretender domains showed up in some search engines’ paid or sponsored listings sections.

Call Don’t Click Update: Discussion – Fraudulent, deceptive, or misspelled domains are still a problem

Researchers documented that 233 domains containing the keywords annual credit report or close misspellings of annualcreditreport.com had been registered. [17] Of the total registered imposter domains, 112 +/- 3 were online and available to consumers as of June, 2005. The pretender domains showed up in some search engine results, and some of the pretender domains showed up in some search engines’ paid or sponsored listings sections.

Call Don’t Click Update: Discussion – How the Owners of the Misspelled Domains are Making Money on Consumers

As discussed previously, the imposter domains fall into two broad categories: the imposters are either “SSN grabbers” or they are “link farms.” The SSN grabbers comprise a minority of the imposter domains. These domains make money by collecting consumer information and sharing it with others for a fee or for barter.