Ben Stein’s Credit Report Fail

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Reuters‘ Felix Salmon has done yeoman’s work ruining what was left of the reputation of Ben Stein, the political commentator and D-list celebrity best known for his role in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” a Comedy Central game show, and Visine ads. Unfortunately, Felix’s work on this hasn’t received nearly enough attention, and I still have to see Stein on my television at least four or five times a week. Stein’s latest gig is as a spokesman for Freescore.com, a “free credit report” site. If you know anything about Freescore’s competitors, you will realize is not a good place to go get a free credit score. Felix explains:

[On April 2,] a new FTC rule came into effect (read all 22 pages of it here), forcing all such websites to have a huge notice across the top of every web page, saying that AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source for credit reports under federal law, and providing a prominent link to this page.

Folks who are familiar with how these sites operate will not be surprised to learn that Freescore.com and Creditreport.com have so far ignored the FTC rule. FreeCreditReport.com (which is behind the most annoying of the “free” credit report ads you see on television) has taken its noncompliance a step further with a bizarre scheme that Felix explains here. “In any case,” Felix adds, “it’s pretty clear that both Freescore.com and CreditReport.com are simply in outright violation of the new laws. I look forward very much to seeing them slapped with some huge fines.”

Me, too. Maybe if the fine’s big enough, Freescore won’t be able to afford to pay Ben Stein any more money.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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