A complaint was filed today by Madigan, the FTC and Ohio against
defendants One Technologies, LP, who operated as ScoreSense, One
Technologies, Inc., and MyCreditHealth; as well as One Technologies
Management, LLC; and One Technologies Capital, LLP. The lawsuit
alleged the companies failed to clearly disclose that consumers who
accessed their credit score through an online portal would be
automatically enrolled in the credit monitoring program and incur
monthly charges until they called the defendants to cancel. At least
210,000 consumers contacted banks, credit card companies, law
enforcement agencies, and the Better Business Bureau to complain
about the scheme.
“Consumers should never have to pay for
monitoring services when they can incorporate several commonsense
steps into their daily routine that will help minimize the risk of
identity theft,” Attorney General Madigan said.
Madigan said that consumers can receive one free credit report
annually by visiting
or call 1-877-322-8228 to order their free reports. The report will
not include a consumer’s full credit score, but it should be
immediately reviewed to ensure all the information is correct. If
not, immediately contact the credit reporting agency to request that
the information be explained or corrected.
The defendants marketed their credit monitoring programs,
MyCreditHealth and ScoreSense, through at least 50 websites,
including FreeScore360.com, FreeScoreOnline.com and ScoreSense.com.
They bought advertising on search engines such as Google and Bing so
that ads for their websites appeared near the top of search results
when consumers looked for terms such as “free credit report.” The
most prominent ad stated, “View your latest Credit Score from All 3
Bureaus in 60 seconds for $0!”
The only way consumers could cancel their membership and request
refunds was to call a toll-free number. Consumers often had to make
repeated calls to secure their cancellation or refund. The
defendants often denied refunds to those who claimed they did not
Under the settlement order, the defendants are
permanently prohibited from violating the Restore Online Shoppers’
Confidence Act, misrepresenting material facts about any product or
service marketed with a negative option, misrepresenting material
terms of any refund or cancellation policy, and failing to clearly
disclose, before a consumer consents to pay via a negative option,
all material terms of any such policy. They are also barred from
failing to honor a refund or cancellation request that complies with
such a policy, and failing to provide a simple way for consumers to
stop recurring charges.
In addition, the defendants are prohibited from failing to disclose
the name of the seller or provider or the name of the product or
service as it appears in billing statements, a product description
and its cost, the length of any trial period, and the mechanism to
stop any recurring charges. The defendants are also barred from
using billing information to obtain payment for any product or
service marketed with a negative option without the consumer’s prior
express informed consent, as prescribed in the court order.
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Attorney General Madigan also offered these tips for
consumers who want to better protect themselves from identity
- Set up Transaction Alerts on your accounts to receive
notifications when your credit or debit card is used above a
certain dollar amount, so if someone uses your card without
authorization, you’ll receive a text message or email and can
immediately call your card issuer to dispute the charge.
- Regularly review your bank and credit card statements to
make sure there are no unauthorized transactions. Contest any
unauthorized charges immediately by contacting your bank using
the toll-free number on the back of your credit or debit card.
Prompt reporting of unauthorized charges is critical to limit
your liability, particularly if you are a debit card user
because liability depends on how quickly you report a lost or
stolen card. For instance, if you report a lost or stolen debit
card before any unauthorized transactions occur, you are not
responsible for any of the unauthorized charges, but if you make
the report within two business days of losing your card, you can
be liable for up to $50 of unauthorized charges. After two days,
reporting lost or stolen cards can increase your liability
anywhere from $500 and up.
- Review your credit reports for unauthorized accounts. You
are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three
nationwide credit reporting agencies per year. Go to
www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228 to order
your credit reports. Make sure all the information is correct.
If not, immediately contact the credit reporting agency to
request that the information be explained or corrected.
- Consider putting a security freeze on your credit. A
security freeze, also known as a credit freeze, essentially
locks down your personal data at the consumer reporting agency
until an individual gives permission for the release of the
data, which can prevent someone from taking out credit in your
name. You can easily have the freeze lifted when you want to
allow a company to check your credit if, for instance, you are
opening new accounts or purchasing a car or home.
For more information or assistance, Attorney General Madigan
urged Illinois residents to call her office’s Identity Theft
Hotline at 1-866-999-5630. Madigan’s Identity Theft Unit has
helped over 35,000 victims remove over $26 million in fraudulent
charges from their credit.
[Illinois Attorney General Lisa