Cicinfo@gardencitygroup.com - UPDATED
Lately, I've been getting a ton of hits from people searching for firstname.lastname@example.org. I had no idea why until I got a letter from Freecreditreport.com advising me that freecreditreport.com entered into a settlement with the FTC over consumers who weren't given full refunds. The letter reminded me of the lawsuit I had against Freecreditreport.com back in 2004. (Search the site for the saga.)
Since I've been getting so many hits, I thought I'd dig and see what I can figure out about email@example.com.
Apparently, Freecreditreport contracted with Garden City Group to handle the details of the settlement. Garden City Group appears to be a legal "middleman" that processes the paperwork, refunds, etc. in class action cases and other cases with a large number of people involved. I have no idea how reputable/honest/efficient that Garden City Group is, but judging by their list of clients, I assume they're at least OK.
Freecreditreport.com and I resolved our differences back in 2004, so I have no need to participate in this settlement. However, if I did, here's what I would do:
- Follow the directions in the letter.
- Not send my social security number via email.
- Send any paperwork or forms via certified mail and keep copies for myself of anything I sent.
All the standard disclaimers apply: I'm not a lawyer; this isn't legal advice; if you have legal questions, find a lawyer through the yellow pages or your State Bar Association.
On a side note, I'm happy to see that the FTC did some good in this case. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but at least they still turn.
For more info, visit the FTC's page about the settlement:
"Consumerinfo.com, Inc., doing business as Experian Consumer Direct, has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceptively marketed “free credit reports” by not adequately disclosing that consumers automatically would be signed up for a credit report monitoring service and charged $79.95 if they didn’t cancel within 30 days, in violation of federal law. The settlement requires Consumerinfo to pay redress to deceived consumers, bars deceptive and misleading claims about “free” offers, requires disclosure of terms and conditions of any “free” offers, and requires the defendant to give up $950,000 in ill-gotten gains."