'Free credit report' offers busted by Government

This is no April Fool's joke. Starting on Friday, any credit-card service that promises to offer you a free credit report will have to state in plain English if the product they're offering isn't really free.

This ruling by the Federal Trade Commission takes aim squarely at Experian's FreeCreditReport.com and other products that reel in consumers with the promise of a free credit report, then rope them into a pricey credit-monitoring service many don't even realize they've signed up for until they notice the charge appear on their credit card. The FTC's "Free Credit Reports Rule" stipulates that any website promising a free credit report as a marketing tool for a subscription service must now put at the top of the page in type large enough to read easily the following warning:

THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Read more at FTC.GOV.
You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com
or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.