Iowans are frequently told to get an updated credit report to ward off fraud and identity theft, but just getting that report can be hazardous to your bank account. Scott Mecham, at the Better Business Bureau, says you may think you’re getting a free credit report on the Internet but you may also be getting some less desirable things too. He suggests people only use an approved website for the credit reports, and he recommends just one.

The best site to use is “www.annualcreditreport.com” which allows consumers to request a free credit report once every 12 months. Mecham says if you don’t use that exact website, you could be getting one that isn’t free at all, or a site run by crooks who are hoping to capture your personal financial information.

Some sites offer a free credit report but also sign you up for some other sort of service like a magazine subscription. He urges people to read all of the fine print first as some Internet-based services look legitimate, but they’re not.
Again, the B-B-B recommends only one website: “www.annualcreditreport.com”. Mecham says virtually everything else could be a trap.