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Your Rights: Credit Reporting

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, Your Access to Free Credit Reports, explaining your rights under the FCRA and how to order a free annual credit report.

A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

How do I order my free report?

You can order your free annual credit report online at, by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

A Warning About "Imposter" Sites

The FTC advises consumers who order their free annual credit reports online to be sure to correctly spell, or link to it from the FTC's website to avoid being misdirected to other websites that offer supposedly free reports,but only with the purchase of other products. While consumers may be offered additional products or services while on the authorized website, they are not required to make a purchase to receive their free annual credit reports.

For more information on free annual credit reports, read Your Access to Free Credit Reports

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summer crime: McGruff

National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) says summer crime could be headed your way. NCPC, the organization best known for its icon McGruff the Crime Dog, suggests some tips to protect you on travel, from property theft, and even bigger pains at the pump.

Travel Safety
  • Plan your trip. Know where to go and how to get around.
  • Take only the credit and other cards you will absolutely need. Carry traveler’s checks, not cash.
  • Check all the locks in your room and never leave your hotel room unlocked, even to go to the ice or vending machine.
  • Set rules for outings and make sure everyone in your party, especially children, knows where to meet if you become separated.
Avoid More Pain at the Pump
  • Pick gas stations that are well-lighted and have video-surveillance cameras at the pumps.
  • Always remove your keys and lock your car doors while you are pumping gas.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Keep valuables out of view in your vehicle and lock the doors even if you are going inside for just a moment.
Secure Your Home
  • Lock all windows and doors before leaving town. Don’t forget to lock the garage door.
  • Use automatic timers on a few lights to give the impression that someone is home.
  • Ask the post office to hold your mail or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to collect it while you are away.
  • Use motion-detection lights outside and trim hedges to reduce potential hiding places for burglars.

Protecting Children
  • Urge kids to play in groups outside. Groups are far less likely to be approached by strangers.
  • Set boundaries where kids can or cannot play. Know where your kids will be at all times and with whom they are playing.
  • Remind kids to wear a helmet, reflective clothing, and to obey the rules of the road when riding their bike.
For more information and tips on travel safety, visit the National Crime Prevention Council’s website at To schedule an interview, please contact Nicole Nasiatka at 202-261-4123 or or Sarah Horn at 202-261-4189 or
About the National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to be the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime. NCPC manages public service advertising under the National Citizens’ Crime Prevention Campaign—symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®” slogan—and acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 400 national, federal, state, and local organizations representing thousands of constituents who are committed to preventing crime. NCPC is funded through a variety of government agencies, corporate and private foundations, and donations from private individuals. For more information on crime prevention issues, visit

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