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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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  • by Jhon (241832) * on Thursday May 22, 2008 @02:41PM (#23509166) Homepage Journal

    Davis acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that his stunt has led to at least 87 instances in which people have tried to steal his identity, and one succeeded: a guy in Texas who duped an online payday loan operation last year into giving him $500 using Davis' Social Security number.
    One out of 87 -- and that guy only succedded in getting $500.

    Davis learned about the fraud in Texas when the payday-loan outfit called to collect on the loan, he said. He didn't get an alert beforehand because the company didn't go through one of the three major credit bureaus before approving the transaction.
    Ok... so it's not perfect -- but it sounds like the service would stop major ID theft attempts...
  • Re:Great secuity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nawcom (941663) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @02:58PM (#23509394) Homepage

    1) Goto: https://secure.lifelock.com/enrollmentform.aspx [lifelock.com] 2) Enter ' or 1=1 or ' quotes included as the promo code. 3) ??? 4) Profit
    heh anyone actually done this? used this trick for free service? it says it will charge you $0 annually after all..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:04PM (#23509508)
    so since he sanctioned it and put no definitive expiry, is it then legal to steal his identity forever?
  • by orclevegam (940336) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:09PM (#23509574) Journal
    And you can go to court and prove you're not responsible, but the monetary damages aren't the real problem. The problem arises because of the centralized credit agencies that score your "risk" for various banks and lenders. It doesn't matter if you never have to pay the money if your credit score is so abysmal you can no longer take out a loan for a new car or house. Not to mention there's the legal fees of proving you didn't do it even if it's fairly trivial to do.
  • by Wister285 (185087) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:23PM (#23509794) Homepage
    I think this is just a pretty good example of how litigious our society is. The courts are more like a lottery, not a justice system.

    This guy has been BROADCASTING his Social Security Number for a long time and it was finally compromised. That seems pretty good to me. Maybe this wouldn't have happened if he wasn't BROADCASTING his Social Security Number nationally and daring identity thieves to do their worst. For a normal person, I think this service would probably do a good job so long as you aren't giving everyone your Social Security Number.

    The Experian story is interesting, but I think we need more information before making any judgments on that.

    We seriously need tort reform in this country. That's the real story.
  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:32PM (#23509922) Homepage
    Ironic to read that Experian is complaining about LifeLock's practices when, in my view, Experian itself engages in deception far worse with their costly FreeCreditReport.com website that many people confuse with the truly free AnnualCreditReport.com.

    Ron
  • by ehrichweiss (706417) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:32PM (#23509928)
    His identity was stolen pretty quickly after he started advertising his SSN. I read elsewhere that his credit is sooo screwed up that the major agencies report his DOB as around 1943 or something and that there have been no less than 5 drivers licenses issued under his identity in various states. That doesn't sound like it remotely did what it was supposed to.
  • Re:The news is... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:52PM (#23510256)
    Fraud watches aren't 100% security from credit fraud also. A fraud watch is actually voluntary. It means that the credit issuer should be careful and double-check whether a certain application is really from the person it claims to be from. However, some issuers ignore the fraud watches and will issue the credit anyway.

    The best protection is freezing your credit. That way, no one can check your credit or add new lines of credit. If you want to do anything involving your credit (open a new credit card, get a loan, get a background check), you would then need to unfreeze your credit and refreeze it when the activity was completed. Unfortunately, this costs $5 per action per agency per person. So if a husband and wife want to freeze their credit, it is $5 * 3 (credit agencies) * 2 (people), or $30. If they then want to unfreeze their credit, get a car load, and then refreeze their credit, it would cost $60.

    There was a bill awhile back that would have made this free, but the credit industry lobbyists got it killed. After all, if you freeze your credit then you can't sign up for a new credit card at the checkout line of a store to get 10% off your purchase. And that means that you are less likely to have lots of credit card debt interest to pay off. And that means less profits for them.

    As far as ID theft is concerned, they honestly don't care. If your identity gets stolen, it's your problem. You need to spend the time and money to prove to them that something went wrong. Any losses due to cards issued during ID theft are written off (or sent to a collection agency to hassle the ID theft victim and further negatively impact their credit rating).

    Todd Davis is just lucky that he wasn't a victim of Criminal Identity Theft [blogspot.com].
  • Re:The news is... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fishbowl (7759) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @04:13PM (#23510576)

    >- 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.

    That's interesting because Arizona has a Doctrine of Reasonable Expectations that permits parol evidence even in cases where a contract has a merger clause that would otherwise exclude parol evidence.

    That means, if a salesperson said something other than what was stated in the contract, the company can be held to the salesperson's word even if the contract specifically says otherwise. This rule applied to cases involving contracts of adhesion (typical consumer "take it or leave it" contracts where no negotiation is offered or accepted.) Even with a merger clause (language that says, essentially, "only the words in writing in this contract are part of the contract", in contracts of adhesion, anything that either party agreed to while negotiating, is admissible evidence.

    If a salesperson for Lifelock ever said to a customer "the company guarantees you will no be a victim of identity theft or we will pay you one million dollars", it's part of the contract, in Arizona.

    I don't know how far "misrepresentation" would get, since I'd be quite surprised if the contract wasn't clearly written. But parol evidence and careless salespeople could be devastating to them.
  • by orclevegam (940336) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @04:37PM (#23510864) Journal
    The commercials imply that they'd be the ones making the calls for you, but if I'm reading the details of the lawsuit correctly that's not the case and is part of what they're being sued over. Apparently they only cover you if there's a flaw in their service, which since it's really just a front for the credit reporting agencies own service doesn't seem very likely. Apparently the fine print on this thing deviates drastically from the spoken guarantee of "If you're identity is stolen we'll reimburse you with our one million dollar guarantee".

    You do however make an excellent point which is that in addition to ruined credit, the time it takes to simply sort the whole thing out is a major issue with identity theft. Something that it seems this service implies that it helps with, but which it actually doesn't.
  • Re:Great secuity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2008 @05:38PM (#23511654)
    When the CEO of Lifelock was first interviewed on NBC, they contracted with the call center I was a software engineer for to sign people up over the phone or lead them through the sign-up process if they wanted to do it themselves online but needed a little "hand-holding." Rather than allowing us to set up a secure connection, they had our phone jockeys use the Lifelock website to sign people up. Very quickly, we had people calling us and telling us that they were getting strange error messages. One client sent us a screenshot. It had a list of lifelock clients and all of their information. Including their social security number. That first day, we had several people tell us they had received a list like that. So, I checked out their website. It was transmitting all information in the clear. No ssh connection, no encryption, nothing! Worse, their own server was apparently confusing which connection was which as their server was bouncing whole pages of client info back to the computers of people attempting to sign up. The smart ones took the hint and never signed up. The ones that boggle my mind are the ones that persisted even after this.
  • by warsql (878659) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @11:28PM (#23514026)

Be sociable. Speak to the person next to you in the unemployment line tomorrow.

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