credit report scam

I’ve been searching for a good credit reporting service and found Clear Credit. The site was neat and professional-looking, and their offer for a free three-agency credit report seemed too good to be true. The only catch I could find was that you had to pay $7.95 for each disputed item on your report. I was on the verge of signing up, but got a sneaking suspicion that something wasn’t right. Every other site I’d seen offered an Equifax report for free, and a three-agency report for around $35. How could they offer it for free?

Skeptical, I researched the company and found multiple complaints. One of the prominent ones was a claim that they disputed every negative entry on your credit report without your approval, then charged you $7.95 for each one.

I requested an explanation of the above link to give them a chance to share their side of the story. While I awaited their response I continued my research.

The New Hampshire Department of Justice says there is nothing a credit repair agency can do that you can’t do for free, making Clear Credit’s offer seem even more suspicious. Almost all of the other sites I found made it clear that you should be suspicious of anyone claiming to improve your credit for a fee, because non-profit groups are available to help people with credit trouble. This didn’t give me warm fuzzies about Clear Credit’s offer, but I remained hopeful.

My hopes were dashed in a matter of days. I received two e-mails from Clear Credit, but they didn’t contain an explanation. They told me to act now to improve my credit. How do you like that? They spam a potential customer who made a perfectly legitimate request for more information. I was not impressed. My search to find a quality three-agency credit report for a low price will continue, but Clear Credit is clearly off the list.





  1. in most states you are entitled to one free credit report per year just by asking. you might want to look into it. I am fairly sure it is the case in MA and NH at least

      » Comment by whaleman on July 8, 2003 @ 2:29 pm
  2. I’ve heard that’s the case if you’ve been turned down for credit. It would be great if what you’re saying is true.

      » Comment by dan on July 8, 2003 @ 6:30 pm
  3. I sent you some useful information via email hopefully it is pertinent. Experian has a “consumer bill of rights” and I would imagine it is similar with the other 2 majors

      » Comment by whaleman on July 8, 2003 @ 7:49 pm
  4. Here’s the link you sent: http://wbz4.com/lyons/local_story_351161942.html.

      » Comment by dan on July 8, 2003 @ 10:53 pm
  5. i love this public service announcement! :) thank you – i hate these guys who are trying to make a buck off unsuspecting people.

      » Comment by arrancia on July 8, 2003 @ 10:55 pm
  6. You’re very welcome. I have been shocked at how far some people will go to take advantage of others. I wish there was some way we could hook them up with a steady stream of spam and telemarketing calls.

      » Comment by dan on July 8, 2003 @ 11:05 pm
  7. I paid for a one time 3 agency credit report about two years ago and was very pleased with the company I went with. I don’t remember who it was right now, but I could look it up at home. I found the company through a reputable fincincial website (fool.com, fortune.com, cbs.marketwatch.com, or something like this).

    I’d suggest you do look at a site like this, and they’ll point you in the right direction.

    Disputes are a hassle to deal with and it may take several months to appear on your credit reports.

      » Comment by scott on July 9, 2003 @ 2:28 pm
  8. did you ever get a free report or did you have to pay?

      » Comment by whaleman on July 16, 2003 @ 10:02 am
  9. Neither. I haven’t bothered to get one yet.

      » Comment by dan on July 16, 2003 @ 10:04 am
  10. I signed up for their service, and I never received anything. The credit card I gave them to charge was cancelled – and apparently they just kept running a tab on me. Over 7 month later, they turned me over to a collection agency that is harassing me for over $300.00. I’m trying to fight this now – but my suggestion is don’t ever get involved with ClearCredit.com.

      » Comment by Cheryl L. Pressley on August 3, 2003 @ 6:43 pm
  11. Cheryl – Thank you for confirming my suspicions. It is clear to me now that they are an unscrupulous, dishonest and misleading organization who want to cheat honest people.

      » Comment by dan on August 3, 2003 @ 8:12 pm
  12. I am going through the same thing as Cheryl,except one difference. I never signed up with them. I was a member of Junum. I cancelled that but it seems that they were bought by clearcredit and now have me in collection for disputes that I did not eevn know about. Even anyone beat this let me know how. Thanks

      » Comment by Lloyd Schiffres on August 14, 2003 @ 4:25 pm
  13. Clearcredit.com is a scam. Out of the three options I signed up for a free credit report with an option to dispute negative accounts. I was charged $50 with a scheduled charge for another $100. I never authorized any of that, nor got any kind of Email or receipt. It’s a scam.

    The Better Business Bureau has a negative report on the company.

    Here’s additional info on clearcredit.com
    The source is a search on http://www.bbbsouthland.org/index.cfm for “Clear Credit.com”

    Phone:
    (800) 720 – 5614
    (800) 720 – 5611
    (949) 330 – 7402

    Additional Trade names

    Clear Credit.com
    My True Credit.com
    MyTrueCredit.com
    Palisades Holdings, LLC
    http://www.mytruecredit.com

    Additional Addresses

    1590 Corporate Center Drive
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    2224 Main Street
    Santa Monica, CA 90405

    I have also filed a complaint with FBI and cancelled my bank card. Everybody should do the same to stop these guys from stealing.
    http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp

      » Comment by armin kaspar on August 31, 2003 @ 10:43 pm
  14. wow! who would have thunk all that from a “helpful” company!

      » Comment by whaleman on September 1, 2003 @ 9:40 am
  15. Your best bet is to go with one of the 3 accredited credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

      » Comment by Cameron on September 2, 2003 @ 4:47 pm
  16. The best way to fight ClearCredit.com is to get them on violations of California civil Code.
    http://www.dca.ca.gov/legal/cr-9.html

    You can file comlaints with FBI, BBB, Attorney General and Consumer affairs.

    http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp

    http://www.bbbsouthland.org/Online.cfm?h=13&d=bbb&p=cbusiness

    http://caag.state.ca.us/consumers/mailform.htm

    http://www.dca.ca.gov/complainthelp/citizen-complaint.html

    The legal system can be time consuming, but it works.

    http://www.labbb.org
    On August 26, 2003, the California Attorney General filed a Lawsuite, case no. 816741, alleging that the company and its principles misrepresented that they would remove inaccurate, outdated, or unverified information from a subscriber’s credit report when they did not have the authority to do so, represented that they could obtain credit reports at no cost, without disclosing that the consumers who responded to the offer are often enrolled and charged for their services without their consent. The suit also alleged that the company failed to obtain the proper registration, bond, and that they failed to perform the services within 6 months as required by law. The lawsuit is seeking equitable relief for consumers.

      » Comment by armin kaspar on September 4, 2003 @ 3:57 pm
  17. The problem everyone seems to have is that they don’t read the contracts they are signing. Before you try to file suite against ClearCredit.com, maybe you should read the contract.

      » Comment by Dio on September 6, 2003 @ 3:01 pm
  18. Dio: That’s a good suggestion, but it is unreasonable to expect every person to pore over a 10-page document to insure that every detail is accounted for. If their business practices are misleading and unfair, they should be required to stop, whether or not they have a contract.

    Also, just because you put something in a contract doesn’t mean it will stand up in court.

      » Comment by dan on September 7, 2003 @ 2:05 am
  19. Dan,

    If a court decides to undermind one’s accountability when signing a contract, they would be underminding all contract law. If contract law loses it validity, no one will be protected by these laws. Don’t forget all the millions of businesses and individuals who base everything they do off contracts and the accountability entailed within. No court will dismantle contract law just to strike down one company. Besides, it shouldn’t be done. If people can’t be held accountable by contracts, what will happen to all the banks, lending institutions, schools, etc, that use contracts to protect themselves and their clientel?

      » Comment by Dio on September 10, 2003 @ 8:14 pm
  20. P.S. Thank you to the individual who cleaned up my post.

      » Comment by Dio on September 10, 2003 @ 8:16 pm
  21. Dio: I agree that a contract should be maintained and held to, but a contract cannot supersede other laws. For example, if you write a contract that says someone will give up their freedom to vote, it is unconstitutional and is therefore not a valid document.

    I feel that ClearCredit’s contract is intentionally misleading and if challenged in court would be hard to defend as being legal.

      » Comment by dan on September 11, 2003 @ 1:22 am
  22. Clearcredit/Cleancredit.com – I received a FREE GIFT for A FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP WITH NO OBLIGATION from NetDetective (Harris Digital Publishing). I went to sign up at clearcredit.com (from a link provided by NetDetective’s website for members).

    I signed up for OPTION 1 – NO COST TRIAL (..your credit card will NOT be charged for 3 days (or 5 in California) in which you may cancel the trial or you will then be charged for membership.

    During sign up, I provided complete and fairly accurate billing address information. Well, upon hitting SUBMIT, a FALSE ERROR message came back saying that ‘Address did not match bank’s address information for cardholder’. So, I got out my bank statments and compared, oh, I see, it should be Avenue not AVE. So, I tried again, got the same FALSE ERROR about bad address. I tried several more times, switching around Abbreviations for West and Avenue, etc., and then got a “Tried too many times error”, session cancelled….

    Well, next day…. NEGATIVE $249 on my bank account for FIVE $49.95 Transactions by clearcredit.com / cleancredit.com

    BOGUS, BOGUS, FRAUD !!! There was not ‘address problem’ that was just a ruse to get ME to press SUBMIT button five times racking up five charges.

    Anyone know of any lawsuits… I’m filing with FTC, FBI, AG, etc…. any more in line ???

    Who OWNS that d-mn company ???

    Thanks!

      » Comment by James on October 1, 2003 @ 2:18 am
  23. FOLLOW UP:

    On ‘contracts’ vs. legality. Plain fact. If a contract violates law, it’s not a contract, in my opinion, as a lay person.

    Example: You and your boss agree that you are going to be an ‘independent contractors’ and you sign contracts, yet, you work at his/her office, use their tools, space, computer, phone lines, your boss tells you what to do, when to do it, how to it (whatever your work is), etc.

    Well, contract or no contract you are NOT an independent contractor, you are an employee and the State and Federal Government will declare your contract invalid because it violates state and federal law.

    Contracts and Contract Laws are only as strong as far as they do not VIOLATE other existing laws.

    When a government, court or agency declares a contract to be illegal, it has no effect, per se on any other valid, legal, contract. Therefore, if you sign crap that was illegal or misleading to begin with, you DO NOT have a contract, in my lay person’s opinion.

    Now, as far as ClearCredit.com and CleanCredit.com goes, there CONTRACT specifically states, ‘NO CHARGES WILL BE PAID UNTIL -AFTER- the 3 DAY (or in California, 5-Day) Trial Period. Thus by their own CONTRACT they are NOT ALLOWED to charge your account for their FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL until after you have declined to CANCEL within the Trial Period.

    In my case, not only did they FAIL TO DISCLOSE that contrary to their contract and law, they were going to charge my account anyway, they also gave a FALSE ERROR pertaining to ADDRESS MISMATCh during the intial membership (for Trial) signup on their website. In fact, each time the Error Code for Address Match Error came up, they were in fact, charging my bank account via my credit card (debit Visa Card). This is a fraud, in my opinion.

    STAY AWAY FROM CLEARCREDIT and if you have been in a similiar circumstance, file against them!!!

      » Comment by James on October 1, 2003 @ 2:54 am
  24. I got sucked in to one of these called Academy Credit. They make similar claims but charge a flat fee of 97.00 for starting their service and then an additional subscription of 37.00 monthly after that. My credit report wasn’t so bad as i discovered after having done most of what the ordinary consumer can do on his own, so i tried to cancel the service but ended up being charged anyway. Fine, I thought, perhaps a paralegal can do more than I can on my own. But then one of the credit agencies sent me back a letter that had originated with this Academy Credit outfit and not only is it clearly not the work of anyone with any legal experience, it is not even gramatically correct. In fact it sounds like a complete moron wrote it. I am currently battling them for my money back.

      » Comment by David Jezek on October 6, 2003 @ 1:26 pm
  25. I got the free offer with Net Detective for Clear Credit and signed up. The five day trial is invalid anyway beacuse it took them almost two months to post my credit report. Three days later they sent me an email saying they had gone ahead and disputed everything negative on my credit report at $ 7.95 each! I went back and forth with these people through email and phone and finally got them to cancel my membership but they took the money and ran. I have filed with the BBB and plan on filing with all the others including Net Detective. No where on any of the emails I was ever sent did it say they would be automatically disputing items and charging me. This is a scam. Ironically I work right next to their offices that are in a multi million dollar building in Aliso Viejo, CA and can tell you that everybody’s stolen money is being put to good use. The place looks like Oracle works there! Clear credit is taking advantage of the fact that people often dont read the fine print in Terms and Conditions because why would you have to read them for a free offer. If anybody would like to know anything inparticular about Clear Credit I am in the process of fully investigating them.(It helps being next door). Its not the money that upsets me but the fact that they disputed all those items on my report which will probably wind up messing up my credit even more. I ve heard disputes restart the clock in some cases so really they stole my money and possibly messed up my credit! What A Good Deal!!!!!!!!!

      » Comment by Doug on October 15, 2003 @ 5:31 pm
  26. I’ve been searching for a cheap way to get all three score recently also. The best deal so far is $38.95 for all three reports and three scores. This was a link from fool.com, a very reputable financial site:
    http://www.myfico.com/?lpid=OVER101

      » Comment by Cameron on October 28, 2003 @ 3:54 pm
  27. Try http://www.consumer info.com. You get a free experian credit report for 30 days with monitoring service. The rate is $79.95/yr, if you decide to keep the service. You can also get a report from the other 2 major bureaus, for a small additional fee.

      » Comment by Doug Yarbrough on January 28, 2004 @ 8:34 pm
  28. This clear credit fellows. They are the biggest scam artistes on the net. They had withdrawn $100.00 of me I do not know why and for what? They somehow got hold of my debit card details. Probably through ‘harris digital publishing’ ? Who is there to investigate and put these scumbags out of business and throw in the jail?

      » Comment by Anonymous on February 15, 2004 @ 12:04 pm
  29. Clear Credit Scamed me….I signed up for the free trial on 2/25/04, they took my 49.95 out of my account that day, yet I have never been able to log in. They have never sent me an email, and I have requested my log-in information atleaast 40 times now. I finally got their contact information from the BBB. They have not returned an email or call yet!! I am going to cancel my debit card, so they don’t make another withdraw for providing me nothing.

      » Comment by Christine on March 3, 2004 @ 8:48 pm
  30. I work at clear credit…..Try reading what you signed up for (BEFORE) you click on “I Agree” on any company’s terms and conditions

      » Comment by Mr X on March 16, 2004 @ 9:36 pm
  31. Mr. X: It says right in the terms that they will not charge you for three days, and yet Christine was charged on the very first day. They may want to reread their terms again and start adhering to them if they want to stay in business.

      » Comment by dan on March 16, 2004 @ 9:42 pm
  32. Excerpt of the terms:

    DISCLOSURES PERTAINING TO ALL MEMBERSHIP PLANS

    Billing

    Your Initiation Fee (if any), membership fee (if any), dispute fees (if any), deletion fees (if any) and any elective fees or charges will be charged to the credit card or bank card or account that you specified. In the event ClearCredit discovers that services were provided but not billed, ClearCredit shall have the right to charge such fees at any time after such discovery. Any form of payment that you submit or provided with membership can be charged for fees and services rendered by ClearCredit. If any form of payment you supply is uncollectible for any reason, ClearCredit may charge you a dishonored payment fee of the lesser of $25.00 or the maximum rate permitted by applicable law. From time to time, ClearCredit may extend special offers that may waive certain fees. To verify billing information and to protect against fraudulent use of your personal account information, (ClearCredit may assess an authorization of up to $50 to the account you provide for billing). If you cancel under the terms of the five day cooling off period, this authorization will expire, and any fees actually charged will be refunded.

    Again try reading what you are about to sign up for FIRST…. sound advise..Don’t you think

      » Comment by MR X on March 17, 2004 @ 11:11 pm
  33. Mr. X: Okay, so there are contradictions in the terms, because at the top it clearly states:

    “Standard Plan members pay a one-time credit analysis fee of $49.95 upon expiration of the free three-day trial referenced below and only after ClearCredit has completed the analysis of your credit history.”

    What happened to the free three-day trial?

    You’re fighting a losing battle. The company you work for is intentionally misleading the people, and even if you do put things in the fine print, the whole advertising campaign is intended to do one thing: get people’s money without doing anything of value for them.

    Here’s another example. In the terms it says,

    “ClearCredit will order your credit report, analyze it to determine potentially inaccurate, outdated and unverifiable information, as well as derogatory information, and await your instruction as to which items to dispute.”

    We both know that is a lie. They don’t wait for instructions on which ones to dispute, they dispute everything on the credit report that is derogatory and charge 9.95 for each one, whether the customer wants to or not.

    If it were a legitimate business with proper and legal practices, the argument wouldn’t be that it’s all in the 18-page, 9,400 word document that everyone is expected to read word for word. A legitimate company would make sure that customers were satisfied with their service, and if not, provide a full, money-back guarantee. Clear credit only give five days, before most people even know they’ve been swindled.

    It’s one thing to cheat people, it’s another thing to claim you’re innocent while you’re cheating people.

    How do you answer to sites like johnrigler.net?
    Why would The New York Consumer Protection Board (consumer.state.ny.us) feel the need to warn residents about ClearCredit.com?

    “What they really do, according to the CPB, is dispute every little trifling thing in your credit profile, from name to address to how much you paid for that last pair of Pony kicks. And, yes, you get charged for every appeal; upward of $500 when all’s said and done.”

    You don’t have to be warned about trustworthy companies. ClearCredit is a scam, plain and simple.

      » Comment by dan on March 18, 2004 @ 12:26 am
  34. I sent the following e-mail to their customer service representative:

    ———-
    I was about to sign up for this service but it seemed suspicious that you would offer a free three credit bureau report when every other offer I’ve found charges for them. I searched around and found this: http://www.badbusinessbureau.com/reports/ripoff52821.htm claiming that you send out the disputes without my consent. Is this true?
    ———-

    Twenty-three days later I received this reply:

    ———-
    Dear Dan,

    I fully understand how you are being precautious about your money. We do offer a free credit report, we do a temporary authorization for 39.75 on the credit card you provide to us to make sure that if you do wish to dispute any items, that you will have the funds to do so, As well as we do so to make sure you are who you say you are. You have full control over your disputes. When you sign up we give you a welcome email that full explains who we are and what we do. We also send you an email right away. When you report is pulled and let you know you have a 3 day time frame to let us know which items you DON?T want disputed. Otherwise, all negative items will be sent out for dispute. When your report comes up, you can surely call us at the contact number we give you and ask that all disputes be put on hold. You will have full control once you let us know that you wish to have any disputes put on hold. In addition, every customer upon sign up has a 5-day cooling off period to cancel their account. If you cancel your account within that 5 day cooling off period, any money collected will be refunded. Please read over our terms and conditions listed on our site if you have any future questions.

    (name removed)

    Customer Support Representative
    ———-

      » Comment by dan on April 20, 2004 @ 12:13 am
  35. Why cant all you scammies file fraud charges with your credit card companies and get yo damn money back. Ive done this with 3 different shady scam companies and it always worked for me. In my opinion if you dont physically sign the contract then it dont mean nothing. You cant hold a click on a submit button as agreement to a legal binding contract.

      » Comment by sd on October 6, 2004 @ 6:21 pm
  36. (NOT SURE IF THIS WILL HELP BUT THIS WAS EMAILED TO ME)

    PROPOSED SETTLEMENT

    A class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in New Orleans,
    Louisiana on behalf of consumers who purchased credit repair services from
    Palisdades Holding, LLC d/b/a ClearCredit or ClearCredit.com,
    (“ClearCredit”).

    A settlement of the lawsuit could affect you if you purchased credit
    repair services from ClearCredit before the date of August 19, 2004. If
    you qualify, you may send in a claim form to receive free credit repair
    services and assistance in obtaining free credit reports, or you may
    exclude yourself from the settlement, or you may object to the
    settlement.

    The Court where the lawsuit was filed authorized the notice. The Court
    will have a hearing to consider whether to approve the settlement.

    WHO IS AFFECTED?

    All purchasers of credit repair services from ClearCredit before the
    date of August 19, 2004.

    WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

    Plaintiffs contend that Defendants, ClearCredit, through certain third
    parties, National Credit Center, Inc,. and Info 1 Holding Company, have
    impermissibly obtained consumer reports of members of ClearCredit, in
    violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. sect. 1681, et
    seq. (“FCRA”). The defendants have agreed to settle any FCRA claims and
    related claims that have been brought, or could have been brought. The
    settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or an indication that any
    law was violated and the defendants deny all charges of wrongdoing.

    WHAT CAN YOU GET FROM THE SETTLEMENT?

    If you purchased credit repair services from ClearCredit before the
    date of August 19, 2004, you may be entitled to receive free credit repair
    services and additional assistance in obtaining free credit reports.
    If you make a claim in this matter and purchased credit repair services
    during the time period Info1/Credit Decisions provided consumer credit
    reports to Iqualifynow.com, you may be a member of the Info1 subclass
    and be entitled to additional free credit repair services.

    HOW DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

    If you are a class member, you must complete and submit a claim form,
    either online via the internet at

    http://www.classactionamerica.com/classactionsettlements/clearcredit/index.asp

    not later than 180 days after the entry of the Final Approval Order,
    which shall occur on or after January 19, 2005, or by first class mail,
    postmarked no later than 180 days after the entry of the Final Approval
    Order, to:

    CLEARCREDIT LITIGATION
    C/O CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR
    ONE GALLERIA BLVD.
    SUITE 1726
    METAIRIE, LOUISIANA 70001

    WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

    To participate in the Settlement, you must submit a Proof of Claim not
    later than 180 days after the entry of the Final Approval Order, which
    shall occur on or after January 19, 2005. If you are a Class Member
    and do not exclude yourself from the Class, you will be bound by the
    Order and Final Judgment of the Court including the release of claims
    described therein. To exclude yourself from the Class, you must submit a
    request for exclusion which is received by no later than December 17,
    2004. If you are a Class Member and do not submit a proper Proof of
    Claim, you will not be eligible to participate in the Settlement but you
    nevertheless will be bound by the Order and Final Judgment of the Court.
    Information regarding the Proof of Claim and how to exclude yourself
    from the Class may be viewed at:

    http://www.classactionamerica.com/classactionsettlements/clearcredit/index.asp

    The Court will hold a hearing in this lawsuit, know as Barbara Thomas,
    et al. v. ClearCredit, et al., USDC, Eastern District of Louisiana,
    Docket No. 03-2580. A hearing will be held before the Honorable Eldon J.
    Fallon in the Hale Boggs Federal Building & Courthouse, 500 Poydras
    Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130, at 9:00 a.m., on January 19, 2005 to
    determine whether the proposed settlement should be approved by the
    Court as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to consider the application
    of Plaintiffs’ Counsel attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses.
    You may appear at the hearing, but are not required to attend.

    For more details, or if you have not yet received the full printed
    Notice of Pendency of Class Action, Hearing on Proposed Settlement and
    Proof of Claim form, you may obtain copies of these documents by visiting
    the website
    http://www.classactionamerica.com/classactionsettlements/clearcredit/index.asp.

    Please Do Not Write or Call the Court or the Clerk’s Office for
    Information.

      » Comment by Lana on October 19, 2004 @ 10:40 am
  37. These people ran up a tab of 800.00+ and did nothing.
    they messed up my credit report in the process. My credit card company back charged the charges Clear Credit made, so was refunded 350.00. I AM STILL OUT THE BALANCE AND HAVE A FOULED CREDIT REPORT.
    I HOPE THE CLASS ACTION STOPS THESE PEOPLE FROM HARMING OTHERS.
    I TOLD OTHERS ABOUT THEM, AND THEY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THEM AS WELL.
    C ROGERS

      » Comment by cathrine rogers on January 14, 2005 @ 3:58 pm
  38. I should have smelled this scam from the start. I paid these thieves to challenge certain specific items on my credit reports and they did absolutely nothing. Oddly enough they continue to e-mail me with solicitations. These guys belong in jail. but they won’t be prosecuted because law enforcement would rather spend resources on the easy stuff, like a kid with a joint in his car. If you want to get away with theft, steal $10,000,000.00 from 500,000 people. the case will be too complicated to prosecute.

      » Comment by KH on February 1, 2005 @ 10:57 am
  39. Hi, I was sickened to read how much everyone has been ripped off by this clear credit people….scammers are becoming more and more evident on the internet, it is at the point where you are not safe to buy anything online….I recently feel trap as well, I have had major medical fees and debts to pay off ($55K), A so called church orginastion offered to help me out with a loan, if i paid them a rego fee, $800 later, no sign of the guranteed loan, only a counterfeit cheque that they tried to fool me with and a crushed spirit, does anyone know who I could report such a scam to??? I am in AUStralia, I feel stupid fpr believing in them, my desperation i guess put up blinders, if anyone has any suggestions I would be so gratefull, I now do not know what i will do, am about to be evicted from my apartment, I at least want theses people stopped from hurting other unsuspecting people like me, please email me if you have any suggestions, i would be very appreciative…
    kirstysmith34@hotmail.com

      » Comment by km on February 1, 2005 @ 9:41 pm
  40. Kirsty: I’m sorry to hear about your experience. You may want to try reporting it to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center.

      » Comment by dan on February 2, 2005 @ 9:41 am
  41. I haven’t used Clear Credit since 2002, but began receiving the lawsuit info (mentioned above) last year. Today I received an e-mail from someone with “myperfectcredit”claiming to have taken over my account with Clear Credit and if I don’t reply within 5 days, they will start charging my credit card. I have forwarded this e-mail on to the FTC and Equifax, and I am awaiting their reply.

      » Comment by Maria on February 3, 2005 @ 8:16 am
  42. i work for the answering service of my perfect credit.. and every single day i get yelled at by people who are getting ripped off by them and also by clear credit. i feel for you really i do. but all i ask is please do not take it out on the answering service. we are only there to get your name and number. its not our fault that this is happening. i wish i could refund everyone their money back. but we are not part of their company.

      » Comment by samantha on February 17, 2005 @ 12:04 am
  43. credit counseling services charge you a fee based on what you owe which is a heck of a lot more than $7.95 per dispute. Wouldn’t you rather have control over things yourself rather than have someone else do the work for you? I would.

      » Comment by dkf on March 10, 2005 @ 4:46 pm
  44. dkf: Did you not read what I wrote in the original blog entry?

    “there is nothing a credit repair agency can do that you can’t do for free”

    $7.95 a dispute is a heck of a lot more than nothing.

      » Comment by dan on March 10, 2005 @ 5:29 pm
  45. I got sucked into the myperfectcredit scam. I pulled a credit report, and requested cancellation the next day. Well, they sent me emails as if I would not be charged, so I thought no more of it, stupid me. Well, I didn’t realize that I had to send in a formal cancellation letter that they made up until they had charged my account 95.00 and pending 10 more dollars. Do any of you have any suggestions. I have already reported to the Nevada BBB

      » Comment by Cheryl on April 20, 2005 @ 7:45 pm
  46. Cheryl: I’m not sure there’s much you can do except spread the word to others. They are clearly not looking out for your best interests, so appealing to them to remove the charges is unlikely to have much effect.

      » Comment by dan on April 20, 2005 @ 9:12 pm
  47. I don’t think this is the place to put it but I cannot find the place to report a scam such as on TV last night. We put in an ad for a trailer hitch in our local gowilkes.com classified ad and got at least 15 scams. As we have no money to get, we deleted them but some names are, dinnamark@yahoo.com, wilsarah007@yahoo.com, noreply@wmconnect.com trustchamber@albawaba.com, moses_i101@yahoo.com, dawodutunde@uku.com.uk, walterjj3@i12.com. They all want money and promise a cashier’s check and such. Look out. leftlimp1@wmconnect.com

      » Comment by ralph D. edgar on June 11, 2005 @ 7:03 am
  48. I am glad I found this website, it has been very helpful to me. I have just received a phone call saying that they were someone from the collection agency for ClearCredit.com. Saying I owed them 48.00. I was shocked, considering it has been over 2 years since I even went on that website. I was told by 3 different people that there would be no charges on my credit card, and thank goodness I canceled it not to long after that. I thank the people on here who have helped me find the information I need!

      » Comment by Elena on July 21, 2005 @ 12:50 pm
  49. Just today I received a call on my cell from “1st Credit”, a collections agency. There, “Ms. Slaughter” said she felt sorry for me, but couldn’t do anything about it. I signed up for http://www.clearcredit.com a about 2 or so years ago, and actually spoke with a representative and a supervisor there to dispute $80 worth of charges(nothing I couldn’t do for myself). They actually did do some service, but not worth the fee charged. (I didn’t reply to the email telling them to NOT fight the creditors). Oh well, right? Until today I get a call in regards to MyPerfectCredit.com saying that I didn’t pay the initial $59.95. Back then, 2 years ago, there was no initial fee. DOES ANYONE HAVE CONTACT #’S FOR CLEARCREDIT OR MYPERFECT CREDIT? I’m fairly certain I could talk my way into them waiving the $59.95. Thank you for any help.

      » Comment by Eddy on July 21, 2005 @ 2:42 pm
  50. I received a call from a Clearcredit collection agency after nearly a year having cancelled my account within the 3 day trial. The number the call came from is 866-803-5456, and they claim they are doing me a favor by having me paye the $59 cancellation fee that I “owe”. I responded that I would not do anything over the phone, then looked back at my records which showed that I did cancel my accounts last February. I am worried that somehow this collection agency is also a scam. Imagine, a company that claims to help you with your credit, turning you over to a collection agency! – They have over $100 of my money already, because I signed up for 2 accounts… not realizing that for each person on the account, they charge separately…

      » Comment by Mike on July 21, 2005 @ 4:25 pm
  51. Mike, same exact thing happened to me. I yelled at him for a while, and he claimed i received a invoice a YEAR ago (never happened). He claimed he had my Social Security number, but gave me the wrong last three digits of my number. And then he hung up on me when I finally agreed to at least receive an invoice from him. AFter finding this web site, I called them back, getting a weird answering service of some woman. What recourse do we have besides reporting them to the FBI or the Better Business Bureau?

      » Comment by Jpackhouse on July 22, 2005 @ 12:35 pm
  52. FYI, Clear Credit is no longer signing up anyone for their services. Hmm, i wonder why? And I wonder if they’re just now reaching to extort people now that they’re out of business.

      » Comment by Jpackhouse on July 22, 2005 @ 12:38 pm
  53. I am having the same trouble with my perfect credit……they are saying i owe them charges since feb for $400 and i had canceled the service and never heard anything from them and now all of a sudden a collection company calls wanting money…………i had no written notification that i owed it or that i was being sent to collection.

    i am disputing this and i will not pay it.

      » Comment by Terry on July 26, 2005 @ 9:45 pm
  54. My girlfriend got a call from their collection agency saying she owed X amount of dollars for services and a cancellation fee, they were nice about it and not overly aggressive. The thing is, my girlfriend never signed up for clear credit. They had her Social Security number but her incorrect address. She never recieved a bill or anything, nor did she sign up for it. According to the collection agency she signed up on the day she left for Argentina, which she left for at around 4:30 in the morning, so there is no way she signed up for it. She gave the collection agency her debit card and they said they wouldnt charge it until september 25th. This all happened today, so i dont know if they have charged anyting yet. I tried sending something through their website to them, but got an error message, which I assume was meant to happen. What should we do, and how can we avoid paying for this fraudelent activity. email me at briandivito@gmail.com

      » Comment by Brian on July 27, 2005 @ 3:55 pm
  55. I responded to “my perfect credit” for information about my credit records at all 3 reporting agencies on a free trial membership, for which I was charged on my debit card $30 on 3/3/05, only noticed when I received my bank statement on 4/1. On that date I phoned them and cancelled the service, reminding them I had already cancelled the service. I received a credit of $30 on my debit card account on 4/12 and assumed the matter done. Now I am receiving daily calls from a collection agency wanting over $180. What gives?
    I know it is illegal for them to call every day, but I do not know what government agency to complain to. From what I have read on this site, they are probably periodically adding to the $180+ they say I owe. Anybody have any ideas?

      » Comment by Bert Langbein on July 30, 2005 @ 1:34 pm
  56. We received a call last week from 1st Credit of America that we owed $59.95 for a credit report ordered Feb 15, 2005 (we did not order this) through MyPerfectcredit.com. The caller demanded a credit card number to “settle” the acct. (I talked to her supervisor who told me that this outfit bought out clearcredit.com.) I emphasized that we did not order this report she then said “well, we have your ss #” and I asked her to read it back and she read me my husband’s exact number. I then put a fraud alert on both our names with Equifax and they were to notify TransUnion and Experian. Yesterday I got on clearcredit.com site and a Security Alert appeared on my screen saying the name that was issued the Security Certificate for this website was different from the name of the site I was on. So I viewed their certificate and it stated that the Issuer was “Equifax Secure Global ebusiness; O = Equifax Secure, Inc. C = US. I’m assuming this certificate was issued to Equifax (doing business as myperfectcredit.com/clearcredit.com/www.freshstartcard.com, and probably others ?????)I know that a security certificate is issued to a website if they have to obtain personal info such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and the like. To add further to this story we did order a legitimate credit report from Equifax (checked it out and was not scammed on this) June l8, 2005 at which time we gave my husband’s social security number. This whole thing is beginning to smell. Anyone having thoughts please feel free to email me. We are now getting the threating phone calls from 1st Credit of America and each time the caller has a different name, i.e.
    “Miss Stuckey, Miss Watkins, and yesterday Miss Bullard (?)but the caller is the same person for I recognize her voice. We would really like some feedback on this situation. I have filed reports through the local police dept., Federal Trade Commission, and plan to also file a report through FBI. We were advised to do this.

      » Comment by Caggie on August 3, 2005 @ 1:56 pm
  57. File with the FTC, BBB, FBI, and the attorney general of your state against 1st Credit of America LLC (300 N. Elizabeth, Suite 220-B, Chicago, IL 60607) and My Perfect Credit, Inc (3187 Red Hill Avenue Suite 100, COSTA MESA, CA 92626).

    This scam has been going on for some time. Everyone should check out ripoffreport website to see the numerous complaints.

    I cancelled out my account last year. I never signed up for MyPerfectCredit and never received an email from them before the charge. You will find mine and hundreds of other stories on the aforementioned website.

    To the people who have worked for this company: I did read the terms of service when I signed up, and they were changed without any notification. States are not winning the lawsuits against this company without reason.

      » Comment by miss rae on August 7, 2005 @ 9:45 pm
  58. There is strength in numbers, and we the people can choose to fight this company. TEXAS residents, check out our group!

      » Comment by TexanAgainstFraud on August 8, 2005 @ 12:35 am
  59. They got me too,saying I owe them $186.00Im not paying.And never will I followed all the steps and after not hearing anything for7 days I cancelled via. email. Now 5 monthes later I get 2 calls a day from thier thug collection agency.saying Im in collections for $186. They can go f#@* themselfs. ,Angry,Paul

      » Comment by paul higgins on August 8, 2005 @ 6:16 pm
  60. I received a call from First Credit of America (FCOA) today stating like many others on here that I owed a $59.95 cancellation fee to Clear Credit. From the beginning the lady was rude. Different from many others I was a customer of Clear Credit and they did provide some service although not as good as they said they were. That was 3 years ago. I paid the service in full at the time and they even over billed me and refunded me back my money without any issues. I have tried to contact them over this but their website no longer has a phone number which makes me wonder and the listing in the directory is no good.

    I told the lady at FCOA that I needed proof of this bill. She told me their policy was for me to pay first and then send the proof of the bill. I told her under the Fair Credit Act that they are required to provide me with “written” proof of this bill and that until I am notified in writing of this bill I am not under any obligation to pay it; which is the law. I told her if she would kindly send me a copy of the bill and the supporting document that show I owe this, I would gladly pay it. She told me that is not how they operate and that if I did not pay it, they would report me to the credit bureaus. I told her that if she felt like doing to do so and I would protest it to the credit bureaus and then she would have to provide that information to then and still have to provide it too me. It was obvious that she did not know the law and was just trying to threaten/scare me into paying.

    She had my address and said she would send me the information. Based on what I have seen on here, I will probably never see it. But I will be keeping an eye on my bureaus.

    If you get this call, demand that they provide you with “WRITTEN PROOF” that is the law and you do not have to pay a dime even if you owe the money until they provide you with this proof. If they just send you a bill, you then have 30 days from the day you receive the letter to request written documentation of the bill. Just because they send you a bill does not mean you owe it.

    The other issue for me is that I have my agreement and terms with Clear Credit. Nothing in it says there is a cancellation charge. So have them provide how the terms of the cancellation charge works. They will not be able to prove it.

    I received a call from First Credit of America (FCOA)on July 29, 2005 stating that I owed a $59.95 cancellation fee to Clear Credit. From the beginning the lady was rude. I was a customer of Clear Credit and they did provide some service. That was 3 years ago. I paid the service in full ($795) at the time and they even over billed me and refunded me back my money without any issues. According to the terms and conditions of what I did subscribe too, there is no cancellation fee after I have paid them in full, which I did. I have tried to contact them over this but their website no longer has a phone number which makes me wonder.

    I told the lady at FCOA that I needed proof of this bill. She told me their policy was for me to pay first and then send the proof of the bill. I told her under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act that they are required to provide me with verification of this bill and that until I am notified in writing of this bill I am not under any obligation to pay it and that they can not continue to collect the alleged debt under this verification is made. I told her if she would kindly send me a copy of the bill and the supporting documentation that showed I owe this, I would gladly pay it. She told me that am not how they operate and that if I did not pay it, they would report me to the credit bureaus and continue to call me every day until I paid it. Well since Friday (today is Monday) I have received 8 calls from FCOA, all of them computer calls. The calls give me a number to call (866-803-5456) which is also FCOA and asks to leave a message. They have not returned my calls after I leave a message requesting them to call me.

    There are numerous complaints on websites (www.ripoffreport.com) that I found all with the same mode of operation ($59 cancellation fee and will not provide verification until after paid). There should be something done to stop this.

      » Comment by Alan Driggers on August 12, 2005 @ 7:43 pm
  61. > send a letter disputing the charges. by law, they must stop trying to collect the debt until it has been validated. for a sample letter, and other useful advice, see http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/disputing-debt-collections.html

    > The FTC, who enforces the FDCPA, FCBA, and the CROA, is targeting companies who run these schemes. If you do only one thing, definitely FILE WITH THE FTC at https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

    > file with your state attorney general, who can act based on your own states’ laws. find yours at http://www.naag.org/

    > Internet Fraud Complaint Center at http://www.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp

    > Department of Justice fraud info at http://www.usdoj.gov/fraud.htm

    > Read the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) at http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm

    > Read the CROA (Credit Repair Organizations Act) at http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/croa/croa.htm

    > Read the FCBA (Fair Credit Billing Act) at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/fcb.htm

      » Comment by juan on August 22, 2005 @ 8:58 pm
  62. Maria (or anyone who can help), do you have a copy of the email MyPerfectCredit sent you about them taking over your ClearCredit account? Please forward it to me or post it. Thanks!

      » Comment by TexanAgainstFraud on August 22, 2005 @ 9:02 pm
  63. 1st Credit of America has not called in a week. Either they decided to honor my cease and desist letter, or they got tired of my forwarding the calls to their main number. It has been 3 weeks since I sent my dispute letter, and they still have not validated the debt. They have until the end of this week, then they cannot collect.

      » Comment by rae on August 22, 2005 @ 9:16 pm
  64. I want to let everyone here know that you CAN hold collection agencies accountable if they violate the FDCPA! I just successfully sued them for multiple violations in the 9th District Court in San Francisco.

    Like many others, I was the victim of harassing phone calls and voicemails during the summer of 2005. 1st Credit of America said I owed money from an account I had at MyPrefectCredit.com. I checked my account, and it was still current, so I refused to pay up since 1st Credit of America could not explain why I owed the amount they said I owed. They also refused to send me a statement in writing.

    I told them I didn’t owe anybody anything and not to call me, but that didn’t stop them from calling. I told them only to communicate with me via the postal service, but that didn’t stop them from calling. I told them that the calls were waking me up and that it was inconvenient to contact me during the day (I worked nights at the time), but that didn’t stop them from calling. I even demanded that they not contact me AT ALL, and still they called me 28 times in 28 days.

    The calls finally stopped when I hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against them for several FDCPA violations.

    It turns out that MyPerfectCredit had experienced an issue with their computer systems, resulting in many current accounts (including mine) being sent to another company called Vindicia, who gave them to 1st Credit of America for collection. 1st Credit then added $50 to my account and tried to collect from me. No wonder the number never made sense when I tried to reconcile it against my own numbers!

    I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against 1st Credit of America in 2005, but they never responded.

    I should also mention that a lot of their collectors in other countries (specifically India) are paid only $3 per hour and the size of their paycheck depends on the commissions that they earn by getting people to pay up. This explains why so many of the calls that I received were so aggressive in nature.

    On February 12th, 2007, I finally got my day in court. I sued them for violating 4 sections of the Fair Debt Collectors Practices Act, and a jury ruled in my favor after a two-day trial and a few hours of jury deliberation. I feel vindicated that there are, in fact, consequences and repercussions for these companies that try to strong-arm people into paying a random amount of money just because they say you owe it.

    My lawyer, Eric Fagan, leveraged his extensive trial experience to put together an open-and-shut case. Being new to the court process (my first lawsuit), he kept me calm even when 1st Credit was telling outright lies on the witness stand. For anyone out there who went through the same thing as I did with 1st Credit of America, I suggest you contact him if you want to stand up for yourself. You can Google him, his office is in Chula Vista (the San Diego area), and his website is www (dot) efaganlaw (dot) com. He handles cases all over the country by teaming up with other attorneys.

    The process wasn’t easy, but I feel it was well worth the stress and time to stand up for myself. I went through a lot of pain and stress at the hands of these people and it feels good to have this thing resolved.

    I’ll be happy to discuss my case with anyone who wants the specifics; you can get me at civitellochris (at) hotmail (dot) com.

    Good luck in dealing with this unscrupulous company, and remember, the TRUTH comes out in court!

    During the course of my lawsuit, I decided to look up 1st Credit of America on Google. Here’s what I found, along with my sources cited:

    1. Someone by the name of Elie Mellul, who shares the same name as the CEO/Owner of 1st Credit of America, was fined by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). See below, taken from the NASD website:

    Elie Mellul (CRD #2126020, Registered Principal, Great Neck, New York) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent pursuant to which he was censured, fined $50,000, barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity, and ordered to pay $39,192 in restitution to public customers. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Mellul consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he effected transactions in the accounts of public customers without their knowledge, consent, or authorization. The findings also stated that Mellul refused to cooperate with the NASD’s request for information and/or documentation. (NASD Case #C10990143)

    Source: http://nasd.complinet.com/nasd/display/display.html?rbid=1189&element_id=1159002030

    2. 1st Credit of America uses IP-telephony to connect their call centers, located in India and other countries. They use a predictive dialer, which is an automated device that dials your phone number, and when you answer the phone you are connected to a collector in one of their call centers. So if any of you ever received a call from them and no one was on the other end of the line, it means that they simply didn’t have someone in their call center available to talk to you. They don’t feel too bad about the crank call, though.

    Source: http://nasd.complinet.com/nasd/display/display.html?rbid=1189&element_id=1159002030

    3. A significant portion of 1st Credit’s account portfolio is comprised of Adult-oriented (pornographic) membership sites. I found an article on AVN (Adult Video News) Online, a trade magazine for the pornography industry in the United States, which mentions this industry as an important part of 1st Credit’s business.

    Source: http://www.avnonline.com/index.php?Primary_Navigation=Editorial&Action=View_Article&Content_ID=238254

      » Comment by Chris Civitello on February 19, 2007 @ 7:46 am
  65. Thanks for the detailed outlines of your court case Chris. Congratulations on winning!

      » Comment by dan on February 19, 2007 @ 4:52 pm


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