Does LifeLock Charge Extra To Coerce Suspected Identity Thieves?

from the smooth-move dept

LifeLock, a company that sells some identity theft protection services that consumers could get for free, got some bad press last month. Not only did it come out that one of the company's founders had allegedly stolen personal information from customers of another business he owned, it was also disclosed that LifeLock's services failed to protect the company's CEO from identity theft. A man in the Dallas area used the CEO's social security number -- which is prominently displayed in LifeLock's marketing materials -- to obtain a $500 loan, and police were waiting to get some subpoenaed information when the CEO took things into his own hands. He showed up at the fraudster's house with a film crew, and apparently coerced a confession out of the guy, who police say is mentally disabled. The confession is legally worthless, and police and prosecutors say it's tainted the case, so they're not going to proceed with their investigation, and have no plans to arrest the suspect. So, it would appear, that not only do LifeLock's anti-identity theft measures not work, the company also manages to bungle the prosecution of identity thieves.

Filed Under: identity theft
Companies: lifelock

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  1. identicon
    Tom Dejoira, 1 Oct 2007 @ 7:25pm

    They are advertising like mad

    While truth about Lifelock is being told here in these forums, They are advertising like mad in magazines throughout the country. When I fly/travel, I pick up several magazines to read. Today I bought Inc, Forbes and Men's Journal. Lifelock had full page ads in Forbes, Inc and the continental airlines magazine. I guess they are making a HUGE profit from the suckers that sign up for the services.

    This is such a sham. Taking advantage of those that know no better. As mentioned above, lifelocks services can be had for free with a coupld simple phone calls. If you lose a card, or see a suspicious charge ,etc. pick up the phone and call any one of the three reporting agencies. By law they have to notify the other two. To be extra safe, make two more phone calls and let all three know you suspect fraud.
    You have a couple options, 1.) have them put a "fraud alert" on your account. This is free. Anytime someone checks your credit there will be a flag that shows there is an alert. THis normally looks suspicious to credit issuers. The risk here is that the issuers can ignore it and issue credit anyway. But most wont if they see it.

    Option 2 is you ask the credit reporting agencies to put a "freeze" on your account. This means no one will be able to access your account and consequently wont be able to issue any new credit. Your account is locked. Most states now require that the agencies provide this service to consumers. Although, the fees vary state to state. Typically its around $10. A small fraction of what Lifelock costs. Not to mention you may never need to pay this.

    Lifelock is a joke. They charge for what I've mentioned above. Oh yes, and the insurance. Yes they provide some insurance, but keep in mind credit card fraud (by law) has a $50 max out of pocket expense for the consumer. THis insurance is meant to cover costs of dealing with the fraud (time off work, etc) this is very hard to monitize. Imagine fighting this one out with the insurance company. Especially when it really doesnt take any time to put up the fraud alerts.

    Ive spoke with a financial institution that offer these services to their consumers. Which many are starting to do. when I asked how many of their customers actually used the services due to an incident the response was incredibly low. Only 4 out of 60,000 customers of this bank needed to use the service over the past two years.

    Lifelock also targets financial institutions trying to get them to pay for the service (at a discounted rate) and passing the service along to the customer as a benefit of opening an account at the financial institution. A competitive advantage. Its another way to suck money out of someone.

    The only benefit any of these companies can provide is person to person hand holding. That may be worth something to not even have to make the phone calls. But to me its certainly not. I just went through it myself (someone was using my name on stolen checks). Lifelock would not have helped at all int his case.

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