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Are Free Credit Score Websites a Scam?

Are Online Free Credit Score Websites a Scam?

Are free credit score websites a scam? Learning how to avoid getting scammed online is an important skill when it comes to existing in the modern world. As technology has evolved, so have scammers and counterfeiters. They have learned to take advantage of the online realm to sucker people of all ages. And some scam artists are quite skilled at duping people online, successfully making themselves appear legitimate in order to steal money from those who may not be aware.

In this article, Max Cash® will help by giving you tips to learn how to spot fakers and frauds online, and how to tell the difference between a good free credit score website versus a bad one.

What is a Credit Score?

Before we go into how to identify a fraudulent credit score website, it is a good idea to demonstrate exactly what a credit score is and how it breaks down first. That way, if someone tries to fake you out with an incorrect description of your score, you’ll know that they’re phony.

Your credit score is a three-digit number that falls somewhere in the 300 to 850 range. It is a neat way to shorthand all your financial history into an easily viewable and usable number. No having to pore over hundreds of financial documents and delve back into years worth of old bills when a machine can do all of that automatically and spit out a simple number that tells you everything you need to know.

So how does that machine do its work, and what can you do to influence the score it gives you? Well, it breaks your financial history down into five parts, and those five parts go a little something like this.

Credit Types

Making up about 10% of your credit score is the different types of credit you currently have. The greater the variety of credit options, the better this part of your score will look.

New Credit

Recently and successfully paid off credit looks good, making up 10% of your score. However, tons of recently opened credit types will make it look bad. Make sure not to go overboard on any one type of credit though, as that can have some serious repercussions.

Length of Credit

How long you’ve been working with credit makes up the next 15% of your credit score. This percentage will snowball over time if you’re consistent in your repayments.

Current Debt

Your current amount of accrued debt makes up the second biggest portion of your credit score, at a hefty 30%. This is also the easiest of the sections to damage and repair, as simply charging money on your credit cards and then paying it off decreases and increases your credit score, respectively.

History of Payment

Finally, your past of paying off bills, loans, and other financial duties makes up the biggest part of your credit score, with a 35% chunk going to this. Keeping up with regular payments, loans, taxes, and more is by far the best way to build your credit score and keep future loans and interest rates low.

Now that you have a rundown of how exactly credit works, you’ll be able to identify when you’re being swindled. Some fakers will try to show you different breakdowns or entirely different explanations for how a credit score works, and when you see that, you’ll now know to get out of there.

How to Spot Free Credit Score Scam Websites

So now that we’ve covered what a credit score actually is, next up is how to spot a fake website attempting to use the promise of a credit score check to steal money from you. There are a couple of telltale signs to watch out for when it comes to fake credit score sites. These signs include:

  • Charging for Credit Reports: It’s mandated by law that everyone is entitled to a free credit report, no matter the circumstances.
  • Asking for a Credit Card Number: Much like the previous point, any website asking for credit card information is likely a free credit score website scam. Websites like this use your information to siphon money without actually providing you with any services.
  • Suspicious Services: Subscription services, free trials or not, are a red alert you should be on the watch for. These kinds of options are a scam to get you to sign up for their service and then trap you in it, or hope for you to forget about the service and rack up forgotten charges. Ignore any sites that ask for a subscription.

At the top of this article, we asked a question: Are free credit score websites a scam? And the answer is some yes, some no. Using the information provided, you should be able to identify which is which.

By Blake Halmerssen

Blake is a seasoned financial analyst. As the head financial writer for the Max Cash blog, he is committed to providing readers with financial literacy and advice.