Everyone needs to protect themselves from identity theft, but before you shell out ten bucks a month for a company to protect your identity, it’s a good idea to check into the various Lifelock scams. Lifelock is a consumer protection company that claims they can stop identity theft before it starts by monitoring their customer’s information for unauthorized activity. Of all of the companies that offer this kind of consumer protection, Lifelock is probably one of the best known identity protection services. Lifelock CEO Todd Davis gained nationwide notoriety for himself and his company through an ad campaign that uses Davis’ social security number to illustrate how Lifelock secures his personal information. Lifelock further enhanced its reputation by boasting that they will reimburse their customers up to one million dollars if your idenity is stolen while you’re a Lifelock customer. These commericials put Lifelock on the minds of consumers looking to protect themselves from ID theft, but a series of law suits that have left customers wondering if Lifelock’s services are nothing more than a scam.
The premise behind Lifelock is simple. You hand Lifelock all of your important personal information and for ten dollars a month, Lifelock will monitor your information for unauthorized usage. The accusations of a Lifelock scam come into play in when 35 attorney generals got together and filed at $12 million lawsuit against Lifelock for deceptive business practices. The lawsuit filed with the FTC claims that Lifelock used scare tactics to convince customers that their identities were at risk if they didn’t sign up for the Lifelock service. The suit also claimed that Lifelock participated in false advertising when they claimed that all of their customer information would be completely encrypted to further protect their customer’s identity. An investigation found that Lifelock did not encrypt their customer’s information. That in fact the security that was provided by Lifelock was well below industry standards. The judge awarded the $12 million dollar claim to the 35 attorney generals involved with the law suit.
Lifelock ran into more accusations of being a scam when a judge ruled that the fraud alerts that Lifelock placed on customer credit reports were illegal. According to the judge’s ruling, the Fair Credit Reporting act that allows individuals to request that a fraud alert on their credit reports with but that companies are not allowed to place fraud alerts are not allowed to request fraud alerts on a individuals behalf. Over the years, Lifelock had requested that Experian and other major credit reporting agencies place fraud alerts on customer’s accounts creating millions of violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Experian led a law suit against Lifelock showing where Lifelock violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and collected millions of dollars in fees while passing the actual work of protecting customer information onto the credit reporting agencies. Lifelock also drew the ire of customers who claimed that Lifelock refused to honor their $1 million dollar guarantee when their identity was stolen while using the Lifelock service.
For every person out there who thinks Lifelock is a total scam,you’re bound to find a customer who is more than happy with their service. The bottom line is that Lifelock doesn’t offer anything that you the consumer can’t do on your own. As a consumer, you have the right to place fraud alerts on your credit reports and thanks to the Internet, credit reporting agencies can give you the tools you need to monitor your credit reports and keep ID theft at bay. When you use Lifelock, you’re not buying yourself any extra protection from ID theft, you’re paying for the convenience of not having to monitor all of this stuff yourself. Paying Lifelock for the convenience of not having to undertake the tedious task of monitoring your own credit report doesn’t automatically constitute that Lifelock is a scam. But considering the legal problems Lifelock has had over the years, you may want to think twice before signing up to have them protect your identity.