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For Immediate Release
August 31, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357


Cautions consumers to avoid copycat “free credit report” websites that may charge users

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. today alerted Marylanders to their right to get free copies of their credit report under a new federal law, effective September 1. The 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) gives every American the right to a free copy of his or her credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting companies–Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Maryland residents already had the right to a free annual copy of their credit reports, as Maryland was one of eight states to have a state law mandating that right. However, the federal law provides one central phone number, address and website at which consumers can order their reports from all or any of the three credit reporting companies:

Telephone: Toll-free: 877-322-8228

Mailing address: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. (To request their credit reports by mail, consumers should download the Annual Credit Report Request Form from the Federal Trade Commission’s website:


Attorney General Curran cautioned consumers who wish to order their credit reports online to be sure to type in the URL (web address) of the federal credit report request website exactly. “There are commercial websites with similar names that may try to get you to pay a fee for your reports or to buy other products,” he said. “Also, beware of pop-up ads, e-mails or telemarketing calls that promise to get your free credit report for you. Responding to these solicitations may end up costing you money.”

Another reason consumers need to be sure they are using the federally mandated website to request their reports is that they will need to provide personal information such as name, address, Social Security number and date of birth.

“ I encourage everyone to request a free copy of his or her credit report,” Attorney General Curran said. “It’s important to regularly check your credit report for errors–or even signs that an identity thief is using your information–and the law makes it easy to do, at no cost.”



Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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