Provisions of the FTC’s revised rule that regulate advertisements for free credit reports become effective April 2, 2010. As required by the Credit CARD Act of 2009, the FTC promulgated the revised rule on February 22, 2010, to prevent the deceptive marketing of free credit reports by companies that required consumers to sign up for paid products and services such as credit monitoring in order to receive the reports.
According to the revised rule, print advertisements for free credit reports must include the following disclosure in close proximity to the first mention of a free credit report:
THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW.
You have the right to a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.
Similarly, Internet websites must display the following disclosure, including the functioning hyperlinks depicted below, on each page that mentions a free credit report and on each page of the ordering process:
The website disclosure must also include a clickable button that states “Take me to the authorized source” and links to www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
Telemarketers who offer free credit reports must announce to consumers: “The following notice is required by law. You have the right to a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.”
The revised Free Credit Reports Rule also requires certain disclosures for television and radio advertisements for free credit reports, but those provisions do not become effective until September 1, 2010.