Consumer Law

Dared by LifeLock CEO to Steal SS#, Someone Did; Customers Sue

An advertising campaign in which LifeLock CEO Todd Davis provides his social security number on the air, in newspapers and on billboards in an effort to prove the effectiveness of his company’s identity protection services apparently may have backfired just a bit.

It reportedly has resulted in 87 efforts to steal his ID, at least one of which was successful, and at least three lawsuits. Consumers in three states are suing, contending that Davis knew from his own experience that LifeLock’s services didn’t work as well as he claimed, recounts the Associated Press. Another suit in a fourth state contends that the company’s guarantee is misleading.

Even Davis admits that LifeLock can’t protect against every possible form of identity theft. However, the company seeks to prevent certain kinds of financial fraud by setting up–and charging monthly fees for–consumer alerts on credit bureau accounts that can be obtained directly from the bureaus for free, the news agency explains.

“There’s been a lot of marketing, a lot of hype about LifeLock,” says Paul Stephens of the nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. “The question is, ‘How much protection does it really buy you?’”

Additional coverage:

New York Times: “Identity Fraud Service Finds Skeptics”

Today Show (NBC): “ID theft CEO who had identity stolen defends service”

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