Class Action Filed Against Lifelock For Deceptive Advertising

A class action has been filed against LifeLock, the identity protection company whose CEO is so confident in the credit report fraud alerts it places that CEO Richard “Todd” Davis puts his Social Security Number in the company advertisements) The suit says that Lifelock misrepresents the level of security that the company provides, and its “$1 million guarantee” in case of identity theft is a bunch of hooey. In addition, it says the CEO’s personal information is currently being misused by at least 20 different identity thieves. Not surprising coming from a company that was founded based on an idea one of the co-founders had while sitting in a jail cell for an unpaid $16,000 gambling debt.

N.J. Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against LifeLock Alleging Deceptive Marketing Regarding Limited Level of Protection Against Identity Theft [CNBC]

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  1. sisedi says:

    Oh my, I was going to eventually consider such a company. What a load.

  2. dtmoore says:

    haha, was it glen beck that always pimped them on his show?

  3. bonzombiekitty says:

    Jail for an unpaid gambling debt? When did debtors prisons come back? That link points to an empty page by the way.

  4. deedrit says:

    I don’t understand what people are complaining about. You pay like $9/a month and all they do is call the 3 bureaus and put fraud alerts on your account. Just saves you the time and headache of doing it yourself. And the CEO giving out his Social is just a gimmicky marketing thing, if you do the same thing, you are retarded.

  5. Ben Popken says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Works for me.

  6. Starfury says:

    Most of the AM talk stations have commercials for this “service” and they also run Direct Buy ads too.

  7. othertim says:

    Only 20? I’d bet the number of people using that social security number is much, much higher.

  8. “…it says the CEO’s personal information is currently being misused by at least 20 different identity thieves.”
    Sorry, this part makes me laugh.

  9. frankadelic says:

    According to the article Maynard was in jail because he was a victim of ID theft and the thief had racked up bills at a casino. The last sentence in the post is misleading.

  10. Concerned_Citizen says:

    The main reason a service like this is a bad idea is that you are giving your information to a company that cannot be trusted to keep it safe. I doubt their 1 million dollar guarantee covers theft of your information from their own servers. In the end, only give out your information when it is necessary. Don’t give it out to any fly by night company.

  11. frankadelic says:

    @frankadelic: I need to RTFA more carefully! Sorry Ben!

  12. that is just a clusterfuck of shenanigans. very funny and entertaining nonetheless

  13. moore850 says:

    maybe someone stole his identity and used it to rack up that gambling debt, and that inspired this service.

    The service is what again? Pay a guy to watch for someone stealing your identity, the main result of that theft being that they take money from you? hmmm… sounds like racketeering to me. (Pay me money or this will happen to you, which will also cost you money).

  14. bobosims says:

    Other who hyped LifeLock include Rush, Fred Thompson, Paul Harvey, Dr. Laura, and Howard Stern. And, according to a blog from Pheonix I stumbled over, LifeLock received at least some startup funding from VC’s who helped fund Google (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) & Skype (Bessemer Venture Partners). I can’t confirm that, but it appears that LifeLock managed to scam a great number of people into both using their service, funding their company & stumping for them. And to think it actually sounded like such a good idea!

  15. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Ben Popken: Works now.

  16. gamin says:

    @sisedi:

    Me and you both, I even checked their website and it seemed affordable. Finally my cheapness has saved me

  17. bonzombiekitty says:

    In regards to the link – you can really be arrested for failing to pay back a casino LOAN? I’d understand if you were arrested for fraud or something, but simply for failure to pay back the loan?

    And it should be noted that he had the bad loan was, according to the article, because someone had stolen his identity. The OP makes it seems like he was in jail for actually being in debt to a casino, which he wasn’t.

  18. I give out his SS# whenever the Nigerian Princes ask for it. I figured he would be rich(er) by now.

  19. Lucky225 says:

    I wish someone would just call this guys utility company already and shut off his water electric power gas and phone and verify with the last 4 of his SSN that he gives out so bravely. Maybe he’s “immune” to identity theft, but giving out your SSN publicly is ALWAYS a bad idea.

  20. Ben Popken says:

    Read the rest of the article. The paper says the identity theft story is a hoax:

    Because Las Vegas is one of the identity-theft capitals of the world – right up there with the Phoenix metro area – Clark County provides a “forgery packet” to anyone claiming to be a victim. A claim like Maynard’s would have been investigated thoroughly, Zadrowski maintains.

    “Not once did anybody ever suggest, in this particular case, that this was a case of stolen identity,” he says.

    Maynard never filed a police report for identity theft, or it would be part of the D.A.’s office file, Zadrowski says.

  21. IphtashuFitz says:

    @bonzombiekitty: The link worked fine for me. Try again and RTFA. He was the victim of identity theft himself, which ultimately led him to end up in jail.

  22. bonzombiekitty says:

    @IphtashuFitz: I got the link working and did look at the article. I know he was a victim of fraud himself (the OP here leaves that part out) which led to the arrest. But according to the article the warrant was for failing to pay back the loan from the casino. That itself doesn’t make sense, even if he did take the loan out himself.

  23. chrisjames says:

    @bonzombiekitty: It’s equivalent to check fraud, and when signing for a marker, the agreement notifies you that failure to pay is a criminal offense.

    The article states that casinos are lenient about it if you eventually pay them back, which Maynard did; he paid them because it wasn’t identity theft, it was his debt. What’s weird is that he didn’t use a credit card, which might have meant no jail time, but maybe he was already pushing his limits then.

  24. Trai_Dep says:

    Well, at least AM radio blatherheads are consistent. Mislead us about matters public (“US soldiers in Iraq’s greatest fear: suffocation by strewn flowers!”) and matters private.

  25. Snarkysnake says:

    ONE MILLION DOLLARS !

    See how easily we’re impressed by a big,round number ?

    Thats this company’s marketing plan (along with pimping this goober’s SSN).

    I looked into this. There is nothing here that you can’t do for yourself with a little bit of effort.(Indeed,the company all but admits this in its interviews with the media) Fraud alerts ,credit freezes and the like are things that are better not left to strangers.

    Another “magic bullet” that keeps us from getting up off the couch and doing it ourselves.

  26. @sisedi: They prey on the fearful, who have been treated to a steady diet of ominous statistics and stories about people who were ruined by identity theft that was probably preventable without help from outside companies like LifeLock. Just like you keep a firm grip on your purse, don’t flash your cash, and whatever else you were taught to prevent the more ordinary forms of robbery, keeping track of your finances, actually reading your bank and credit card statements, and not giving out your personal info to every Tom, Dick, and Harry is at least as sufficient to prevent online identity theft as turning over this responsibility to someone else.

  27. chemmy says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap:
    Ha I laughed at that as well

  28. Buran says:

    @IphtashuFitz: Try again and RTFA.

    “Maynard did, in fact, spend a week in jail in 2003 because of an unpaid $16,000 casino marker drawn from the Mirage.

    It was Maynard’s marker. The casino took a copy of his Arizona driver’s license when he took out the loan.

    There was no identity theft.”

  29. Pro-Pain says:

    I laughed my ass off when I first saw this commercial. What a freakin’ scam. I’d rather have my identity stolen.

  30. khiltd says:

    I joined a while back (before the continuous Montel appearances) and found that I had no problems whatsoever opening new bank or credit card accounts after my privacy requests had been filed and confirmed with the bureaus. Although I was paying very little thanks to some magic coupon code, this just encouraged me to cancel.

  31. Amy Alkon says:

    If you live in California (or other states that allow it), freeze your credit your own damn self. It’ll cost you $30. I blogged about the details here:

    [www.advicegoddess.com]

  32. Worst Company in America: 2009

  33. Trai_Dep says:

    @Amy Alkon: this irks me to no end. The credit reporting agencies do such a piss-poor job of securing our credit data that we even need a credit freeze. Then they charge us $30 every time we want to freeze/unfreeze it. Across all three of them, presumably.

  34. Wormfather says:

    Great post Ben but the real story is the unpaid gambling debts. Now dont get me wrong, a man can rack up $16K in gambling debts and still have my trust, but to lie about it and turn it into a sales pitch? That there is a bit beyond for me.

  35. Crim Law Geek says:

    @bonzombiekitty:
    In Nevada, failure to pay back a Casino marker is a crime (a subset of the bad check statute). If the marker is for more than $250 or so, it is a felony. This was a result of the casinos buying the state legislature and turning the State into a collection agency for them.

    The Clark County (Las Vegas) DA has an entire unit dedicated to collecting on these markers. I worked a summer as a Law Clerk for the Clark County Public Defender, and I helped defend _loads_ of these cases (I’d say at least 3 or so a day in my court, so multiply it by 10 courtrooms, every day).

  36. SJActress says:

    He was sitting in jail BECAUSE SOMEONE STOLE HIS IDENTITY.

    That’s pretty misleading, Ben. Shame on you.

  37. dariasofi says:

    Just go with Equifax. Easy, reliable.