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The Courts The Internet

FreeCreditReport.com Wins 1,017 Domains By UDRP 184

typosquatting writes to mention that the largest domain dispute case since the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) was enacted ten years ago has been decided. The decision saw 1,017 cyber-squatting domains turned over to ConsumerInfo.com, owner of FreeCreditReport.com. The full decision can be read via the National Arbitration Forum website. "It would seem that this decision sets or reinforces a fairly strong precedent that trademark holders may be entitled to, not only to the domain name that exactly matches their trademark, but also to a wide swath of other domain names including nearly every possible misspelling or other variation of that trademark, potentially even if the trademark is comprised of generic words."
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FreeCreditReport.com Wins 1,017 Domains By UDRP

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  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Friday November 13, 2009 @06:17PM (#30093094) Homepage Journal
    Don't do it. You give them your info and get a free credit report, but you have to opt out like AOL or else they'll charge you. When you call them to opt out they haggle and harass you like AOL did ("Are you sure you want to cancel? Here are our other plans...") and you have to tell them no multiple times until either of you gives up. Then they continue to spam the living fuck out of your inbox.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13, 2009 @06:21PM (#30093128)
    You can get a really-and-truly free annual credit report from this website [annualcreditreport.com]

    FreeCreditReport.com charges $15 and is run by lying, typo-squatting douches at Experian [google.com].

  • by WarlockD (623872) on Friday November 13, 2009 @06:23PM (#30093148)
    I fell for this. They want $19.99 a month to "protect" your credit.

    Don't get me wrong though, it was kind of neat getting real time credit scores on your account, an email alert every time some yahoo looked at your report, and access to a one click instant credit lock. But in the end, unless your going to buy a house or a car you don't really need up to the second data on your report.

    Though, to be honest, I think we should be given access, atleast once a month rather than once a year. Its not like the data is that hard to display and it be far more useful to check for credit card fraud.
  • by Michael G. Kaplan (1517611) on Friday November 13, 2009 @06:33PM (#30093238)

    The New York Times recently did an extensive article on this scam [nytimes.com].

    The entire basis of their operation is to fool people into paying for something advertised as free. They claim that their site discloses its fees, but the disclosure is still discrete enough to fool massive numbers of people.

    Any site where you make a purchase should disclose the fact that you are making a purchase with at least the level of clarity that you encounter on a reputable site such as Amazon.com. Also a service that advertises itself as "free" should never be allowed to charge -- even if they gratuitously disclosed their fee (which they don't) it would still be a bait an switch scam.

  • by MikeD83 (529104) on Friday November 13, 2009 @06:36PM (#30093278)
    Not only do you have to enroll, but every month they charge you a fee of approximately $10/month. Which might seem okay if you could actually see your credit report every month.... I couldn't figure out how. I had to call them and cancel. The kind of cancellation where you have to convince them that you don't want to be a customer. As far as I am concerned freecreditreport.com is scum of the internet.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday November 13, 2009 @06:59PM (#30093422)

    ...at least once a month rather than once a year...

    Tip: There are three credit agencies. You can check each one once a year for free. Check a different one every four months ...

  • by Zanix (684798) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:01PM (#30093430) Homepage
    It's actually even worse than this. There is no cancel option on their website which means to stop service, you have to call them and deal with their trashy customer service. That doesn't even mention the fact that they will refuse to delete your account if you ask. They claim they have to keep the credit card for record purposes. Somehow I doubt it. The only way to get your credit card number out of their hands is to cancel it.
  • by inio (26835) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:02PM (#30093440) Homepage

    The reporting agencies directly:

    http://www.transunion.com/ [transunion.com]
    http://www.equifax.com/home/en_us [equifax.com]
    http://www.experian.com/ [experian.com]

  • by wbren (682133) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:05PM (#30093464) Homepage

    Be careful about checking your credit too often though. When you check your credit too often, it dings your credit score.

    Not true. Applying for new lines of credit will lower your score, but checking it yourself will not. See http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs6c-CreditScores.htm#5 [privacyrights.org]

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:29PM (#30093690) Homepage

    FreeCreditReport is a ripoff of AnnualCreditReport.com [annualcreditreport.com], the real free site which the U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires the three major credit bureaus to maintain at their expense.

    "ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. and Freecreditreport.com are not affiliated with the annual free credit report program. Under a new Federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. To request your free annual report under that law, you must go to www.annualcreditreport.com."

  • by Dunbal (464142) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:42PM (#30093786)

    How is talking trash fooling people into thinking your that site?

          It's not. I made two separate points. But you're going to have a hard time getting sympathy from a judge if you're obviously antagonizing the other site owner.

  • Erm (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:49PM (#30093816)

    Has to be said : what exactly do you get "for free" from freecreditreport.com? You can't get any information without paying and signing up for a service that you have to beg the phone reps to get canceled. Scarier still, the company that runs the site has the power to truly screw you over if you contest the charges on your credit card, since they ARE one of the credit reporting companies.

  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:52PM (#30093838) Journal

    The submitter's name is "typosquatting." The linked article was written by Alias Encore's PR flack , and exists for the sole purpose of selling Alias-Encore's software and services-- namely "helping companies increase highly qualified traffic to their websites through the strategic acquisition of misspelled domain names."

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday November 13, 2009 @07:59PM (#30093896) Homepage Journal

    FreeCreditReport.com is a total scam. It's not free - you have to pay to get the report. But everyone's entitled to a free credit report once a year anyway, direct from the reporting corps, under US credit laws.

    And now that scam has funded this evil precedent.

    Goddamn the lawyers.

  • by alecto (42429) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:11PM (#30094356) Homepage

    The FTC didn't set it up. The big three set it up to comply with the FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act). Although I agree that a .gov would have been much more apropos.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@@@gmail...com> on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:12PM (#30094366) Homepage Journal

    This is data that is used to deny you bank loans

    When a U.S. lender uses a credit report to deny you a loan, you have the right under the FCRA to know which bureau the lender used, so you can get a copy of your credit report yourself.

  • by JimboFBX (1097277) on Friday November 13, 2009 @10:39PM (#30094792)
    freecreditreport.com will automatically sign you up for a service which you can cancel at any time. They will never ask how they will bill you because they will steal it out of one of your bank accounts as 3TVC. yeah, if you call to cancel they won't actually cancel. I've talked with like 3 or 4 people who have used the service and all of them said that freecreditreport.com didn't cancel even though they claimed that they did so on the phone. You have to get their payments disputed through your bank once you figure out which bank account they are pick-pocketing you from. I dont understand why they aren't all arrested and thrown in jail. My wife used this service, found out 6 months later that 3TVC was actually freecreditreport.com, tried to get refunds on them, and found that the bank wouldn't refund that far even though they had records of her account much farther back. She only got 3 months back. When she talked with someone from the bank, they said they get this all the time from freecreditreport.com. WHY ISN'T THIS ILLEGAL!?! THIS IS MINOR THEFT ON A LARGE SCALE AND EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT IT!!!!
  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Monday November 16, 2009 @04:42PM (#30122096)
    "The free market ALWAYS works...if it exists."
    No, no, no, absolutely not!

    It does not always work.
    Look up:
    Moral hazard problem
    Coase theorem (negative externalities in an unowned resource, e.g. the air/environment)

    Those two things should be enough to show that the free market doesn't always work. And, of course, there's the problem with monopolies as you said.

Make it right before you make it faster.