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LifeLock Spokesperson's Stolen ID Inspires Lawsuits 217

Posted by timothy
from the now-he-is-a-formless-protoplasmic-blob dept.
OrochimaruVoldemort writes "It seems as though LifeLock isn't as secure as Todd Davis makes it out. According to a LifeLock spokesman, his identity has been stolen. For two years, Davis has been daring hackers to steal his ID. Looks like he got what he wanted. CNN reports: 'Now, LifeLock customers in Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia are suing Davis, claiming his service didn't work as promised and he knew it wouldn't, because the service had failed even him.'"
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LifeLock Spokesperson's Stolen ID Inspires Lawsuits

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  • Isn't this old news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ngth82 (1261748) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @02:35PM (#23509072)
    Isn't this old news? I thought I read about this months ago.
  • Um, actually... (Score:5, Informative)

    by RandoX (828285) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @02:44PM (#23509236)
    According to The Consumerist [consumerist.com], "...the CEO's personal information is currently being misused by at least 20 different identity thieves"
  • by Blitz22 (1122015) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @02:56PM (#23509370)
    IIRC the service is not supposed to be an iron clad prevention of ID theft, but rather part prevention and part insurance should you become a 'victim' of ID theft. Meaning that you will have your credit ID repaired at no charge up to $1000K.

    If that's the case, these people have no grounds for a lawsuit. (IMO, IANAL)
  • The news is... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dhj (110274) * on Thursday May 22, 2008 @02:58PM (#23509400)
    The new news is that he is being sued. The old news is that identity thieves took his identity. The summary mentions the new part, but the title is poorly chosen. From TFA:

    - Atty David Paris is seeking class action lawsuit against founder Todd Davis in MD, NJ and WV for

    - Also being sued in AZ over the 1 million dollar "service guarantee" because it is being misrepresented and only covers "defects in lifelock's service" and not actual identity theft. which they are misrepresenting.

    - Experian is accusing LifeLock of deceiving customers about their breadth of service because all they do is put a fraud watch on your credit record every 90 days which is something anyone can do with the agencies for free themselves. The only thing this protects you from is credit fraud which where an initial credit check is performed -- and incidentally means if you actually want a change in credit, a cell phone, car, etc you have to contact the credit agency ahead of time so they will allow it.

    --David

  • by orclevegam (940336) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:00PM (#23509434) Journal
    It says it prevents identity theft, not that it prevents people from obtaining loans in your name. The articles all mention that a lot of people (at least 20, but possible many more) have obtained drivers licenses using his SSN, and many more attempted to but were unsuccessful. Further there service won't protect you from someone using your identity to obtain a job, or several other types of identity theft that don't directly impact your credit report. There's also the fact that they're charging for a service that the credit companies offer for free. It's perfectly possible to request fraud alerts directly from the credit companies but most people don't realize they have that option so this company is really making money off peoples ignorance.
  • Re:Great secuity (Score:4, Informative)

    by ZiakII (829432) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:02PM (#23509472)
    interesting enough also the word test works
  • by bcrowell (177657) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:02PM (#23509474) Homepage

    There are some pretty straightforward things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft, without paying any money.

    You can opt out of getting unsolicited credit card offers at optoutprescreen.com [optoutprescreen.com]. (Here [ftc.gov] is a link to them from an FTC web page so you can tell they're legit.)

    You can also make a habit of getting an annual free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. [annualcreditreport.com] This can help you to detect if something goofy is going on. (Link from FTC [ftc.gov]. It's run by the credit reporting companies, and as you go through the process, they'll try hard to sell you on getting non-free services as well. You have to watch carefully, and not accept the defaults.)

    IIRC there is also a process for locking your credit reports completely, but it costs money unless you can demonstrate that you've already been a victim of fraud.

  • by XorNand (517466) * on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:11PM (#23509622)
    This "service" is simply placing a fraud alert on your credit report. When a creditor pulls your report, they see this alert which means they ought to do a bit more manual verification of your ID before granting credit. Most creditors will go the extra mile to win the business, but some of them will just throw the credit app in the trash. The bureaus have been bitching left and right about Lifelock, because they're gaming the system. A FA is only supposed to be used if a credit report (CR) is suspected of containing fraudulent information. Anyhow... the point is, you can call a credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) and place a FA on your file for free. You don't even have to call them all, a FA will in short time propagate to all three.

    (Note: a FA is different from "freezing" your CR, which prevents it from even being pulled at all by potential creditors. A freeze is a one-time fee ($10 I think) and is an even better protection against ID theft than a perpetual FA. The downside is you have to pay that $10 per bureau and it can be a pain in the ass if you ever to legitimately apply for credit.)
  • Re:The news is... (Score:5, Informative)

    by orclevegam (940336) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:28PM (#23509866) Journal
    You need to go to the credit reporting agencies directly not through intermediaries. Since there are three major agencies you'd have to contact them separately and sign up for each of their credit protection plans. This shouldn't be confused with the "credit protection plan" that the credit card companies are always trying to shove down your throat, or similar services for other companies, as the former is really a form of insurance in case you become unemployed or otherwise unable to pay off your card for a time, and the later are just companies that are trying to make money by offering a centralized more "convenient" way to sign up for the free fraud reporting offered by the credit agencies (for a monthly fee naturally).
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Informative)

    by wsanders (114993) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:40PM (#23510046) Homepage
    Except the lifelock guarantee says nothing of the sort. Just like the auto companies advertise only that their cars have safety features, not that they will protect me under all circumstances. Their guarantee even foresees that customer's identities will be stolen.

    http://lifelock.com/lifelock-for-people/how-we-do-it/how-does-the-guarantee-work [lifelock.com]:

    "Our Total Service Guarantee is simple. In the unfortunate event your identity is misused while you are a LifeLock member, we will reimburse direct expenses you incur and pay professionals to resolve the problem for you - up to $1 million"

    So, unless they are refusing service to paid up customers who actually had their identity stolen, I still call "ambulance chasing".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2008 @04:04PM (#23510452)
    Already shut down in Ohio.
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @04:09PM (#23510514)
    Thanks for posting this. Those commercials really annoy me, in part because that punk driving the car has a face you'd love to beat with a baseball bat, and in part because Experian acknowledges that their entire operation is a scam (they've already settled with the FTC [ftc.gov] once already) but they're still at it.

  • Re:Great secuity (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2008 @04:11PM (#23510548)
    I never quite understood exactly what that meant, but the parent just presented a perfect example. Thank you, AC!

    That is not SQL injection.

    It's ASP script injection. But the principle is the same.
  • by DiscipleN2k (914143) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @04:16PM (#23510614)
    Step 1: Call Experian (1-888-397-3742) and have them put a fraud alert on your file. They'll pass it on to the other 2 credit bureaus (Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 & TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289).

    Step 2: Repeat step 1 every 90 days.

    Step 3: Save $120 a year by doing everything LifeLock does all by yourself.

    (I know, I missed the obvious, "Step 3: Profit!" joke)
  • Re:Thanks. (Score:5, Informative)

    by nelsonal (549144) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @04:39PM (#23510888) Journal
    Here's the info for all three. This is regulated by the states so it's possible that you might not be able to initiate this from your state. http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20030613c2.asp [bankrate.com] Experian has a handy online form for you to do it. https://www.experian.com/consumer/cac/InvalidateSession.do?code=FREEZE [experian.com]
  • Re:The news is... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ahabswhale (1189519) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @05:01PM (#23511188)
    Actually, all you have to do is contact any one of the credit reporting agencies and report that you believe fraud has occurred on one of your credit accounts (whether it has or not is irrelevant). This is usually all done via automated phone system and you won't be talking to a human being. They will automatically perform the freeze and contact the other two agencies to do the same thing. It's pretty damn simple.I

    I've actually done this. None of it costs so much as a dime. LifeLock and the like are complete rip-offs.
  • by Zordak (123132) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @05:57PM (#23511912) Homepage Journal

    We seriously need tort reform in this country. That's the real story.

    This looks like a silly lawsuit to me, and there certainly are silly lawsuits. But "tort reform" as pushed by Bush and his cronies is not necessarily the answer. In Texas, thanks to tort reform, a physician could literally operate on you totally stoned and maim you for life, and the damages you can recover are so severely capped that it wouldn't be worth it to sue him (meaning it will be hard to get a lawyer to take the case if you can't pay hourly). That's not a bug. That's a feature.

    The intended effect of tort reform is to place a controlled value on the variables. Mr. Executive says, "If we do this evil thing [sell a dangerous vehicle or drug, for example], how much money will we make?" Bean counter says, "We will make $300 million and it will maim and/or kill a bunch of people." "How much will the law suits cost us?" Without tort reform, the bean counter has to answer, "I don't know. Juries are unpredictable." But with nice, tidy hard-capped damages, he can answer something like, "Our maximum exposure will be $150 million." "Great! Let's do it!" And we're off.

    And lest you think I'm just a bitter litigator who had his livelihood yanked out from under him, I'm not. I am a patent attorney. I don't do personal injury. I hate torts. I've just seen the statutes that were spoon fed to the Texas legislature by the insurance lobby. Tort reform is not your friend if you are not a tortfeasor.

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