Mr. Steele, 27, remembered a number of commercials for FreeCreditReport.com featuring a young slacker singing about various life problems -- living in the in-laws' basement, dressing as a pirate to wait on tables in a seafood restaurant -- all because he had neglected to check his credit score. The ads were lighthearted and catchy, with lyrics like: "F-R-E-E, that spells free creditreport.com, baby. Saw their ads on my TV, thought about going but was too lazy."
So Mr. Steele headed to the site and filled out the information form, including his credit-card number, which he thought the site needed to verify his identity.
But a couple of months later, Mr. Steele noticed the site had been charging his credit card. While he believed he had signed up for a free report, he had actually enrolled in a credit-monitoring service that cost $14.95 a month. He says he never expected that it would cost anything.
"It's called FreeCreditReport.com," he said. "It's kind of easy to make that assumption. I didn't see anything in the process of signing up that said, 'Hey, if you don't cancel in 30 days or whatever, you're going to get charged.' "
Check out their commercials below.