They are luring people in by placing false apartment listings on craigslist. Someone responds asking you to submit your credit score, but NO personal information. In my case, "Amanda Payne" recommended creditscorereports.org which directs you to either a legitimate credit reporting site or nationalcreditreport.com.
I initially trusted the site because my norton antivirus said it was safe and the first page of google search terms showed only business listings, reviews, and identity theft protection information--- the second page of the search shows complaints about the service.
No one answers the phone number 1.888.887.2487 at nationalcreditreport.com. I called many times and would hear music, warnings about identity theft, then nothing and would be disconnected. I believe that they don't answer because they want to prevent you from cancelling the free 7-day trial. I have found no evidence that there is anyone at the end of this line, but I will continue to try for a few more days and update this posting if I find that someone does answer. They say that the only way to cancel the trial is by phone becuase they need to verify your identity. (This is not true! They did nothing to verify my identity when they told me the account was closed --- read on to find out what it takes to make this happen.)
In the last section of the "Refund & Cancellation Policy," it states that, "The $14.95 monthly fee will be charged to your credit card account after your free trial membership expires and your membership will continue automatically, billed at the beginning of each monthly membership period at the current rate." They change it to $14.95 weekly when you sign up!
The "C-O-M-O-D-O" verification seal on their homepage does not work and possibly fake. It looks very similar to the real verification seal which gives the site an appearance of legitimacy, but it is not the seal shown on the Comodo website.
I realized last night that this was a scam and I immediately signed up for chaseidprotection.com -- they have been fantastic! I cancelled my credit card and put fraud alerts on all of my credit reports this morning. From what I have read, I am very lucky because I was still in the trial period and they haven't charged my card, however I feel that I will need chaseidprotection services in the future.
I called their customer service number numerous times without reaching a person. I then called the Media and Investor Relations Person at their parent company Steel Vault Corporation, listened to a message and pressed 0 to speak to the attendant. I told her the same thing I put in my email and she eventually took my name and number to have someone contact me.
Within in the hour I received a phone call from "Brian" stating that my trial was cancelled, my account closed, and my information deleted and he gave me a confirmation number. I later received a generic email stating that my credit monitoring was cancelled -- but it did not include a confirmation number and it did not confirm that my account was closed or that my personal information was deleted. I only have Brian's word on the latter two points.
I confronted Brian about the customer service phone number -- he asked me what happened when I called. He gave excuses including: "high call volume this morning" and "the system doesn't just disconnect people."
I confronted Brian about the non-functional, possibly fake security seal. He said he "would look into it. The site is verified daily."
I confronted Brian about the Washington Post September 1, 2005 piece (available online) by Krebs that cites more than 2100 complaints filed against nationalcreditreport.com with the Federal Trade Commission from December 2004 to when he interviewed Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum. Brian said the company was now under new ownership and that it was a matter of public record.
I have reported nationalcreditreport.com to numerous consumer agencies and federal authorities.
WHAT IT ALL COMES DOWN TO...
This is either a case of...
1. ...an extraordinary number of random discrepancies within the website and problems happening to many people, which is possible.
2. ...it's a scam, which is also possible.
MY PERSONAL BELIEFS:
I do not believe that you will be able to cancel your trial membership unless you are persistent and prepared to take legal action.
I do not believe that my personal information is safe with this company. I feel that I am more likely to be a victim of identity theft because of their unfair practices and unsecured website.
I am afraid of retaliation, so I cannot include my information.
I do not intend any of this to be construed as offensive. It is not only an account of discrepancies that you can confirm by examining the website, but also a truthful account of my experience using this company's service and my beliefs based upon that experience. If I find that any of my beliefs stated here denied or confirmed by future developments, I will update the report to be as accurate as possible.
Nowhere, New York