Consumerinfo.com settles FTC charges

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Consumerinfo.com Inc., doing business as Experian Consumer Direct, will pay $300,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that ads for its free credit report offer failed to disclose adequately that consumers who signed up would be automatically enrolled in a credit-monitoring program and charged $79.95.

The FTC alleged Consumerinfo.com ran ads after a settlement that violated the disclosure requirement. The settlement bars it from misrepresenting any affiliation with the annual credit report available to consumers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

"We agree that we inadvertently left out one of four disclosures we should have had on our television commercials and as a result, agreed to pay the $300,000," said Heather Greer, a spokeswoman for Experian.

The first FTC settlement was in August 2005 when Consumerinfo.com paid $950,000 to settle FTC charges that it deceptively marketed free credit reports. Consumerinfo.com offered consumers a free copy of their credit report and added that they would provide "30 Free Days of Credit Check Monitoring."

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