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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default Fraud-prevention pitchman becomes ID theft victim

    Fraud-prevention pitchman becomes ID theft victim



    SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- Todd Davis has dared criminals for two years to try stealing his identity: Ads for his fraud-prevention company, LifeLock, even offer his Social Security number next to his smiling mug.

    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.

    Attorney David Paris said he found records of other people applying for or receiving driver's licenses at least 20 times using Davis' Social Security number, though some of the applications may have been rejected because data in them didn't match what the Social Security Administration had on file.

    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.

    Paris said the fact Davis' records were compromised at all supports the claim that Tempe, Arizona-based LifeLock doesn't provide the comprehensive protection its advertisements say it does.

    "It's further evidence of the ineffectiveness of the services that LifeLock advertises," said Paris, who is lead attorney on the three new lawsuits, the latest of which was filed this month.

    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.

    Davis said it's possible driver's licenses have been issued to other people in his name because of the widespread availability of his personal information -- and because of what he described as the flimsy mechanisms in place to report that kind of fraud.

    Paris noted that LifeLock charges $10 a month to set fraud alerts with credit bureaus, even though consumers can do it themselves for free.

    But Davis stands by his company and his advertising gimmick, which has appeared in newspapers and on billboards, radio and MTV. He even broadcasts it by bullhorn on walking tours through crowded downtowns.

    "There's nothing on my actual credit report about uncollected funds, no outstanding tickets or warrants or anything," he said. "There's nothing to indicate my identity has been successfully compromised other than the one instance. I know I'm taking a slightly higher risk. But I'll take my risk for the tremendous benefit we're bringing to society and to consumers."

    The lawsuits, for which Paris is seeking class-action status, highlight the fundamental limits on how much security identity-theft companies can provide.

    Companies like LifeLock can help guard against only certain types of financial fraud by helping consumers set up alerts with credit bureaus, which inform them when someone tries to open a new line of credit or boost their credit limit to finance a buying binge, for example.

    The services don't guard against many types of identity theft such as use of a stolen Social Security number on a job application or for medical services, or even the instance of an arrestee giving police a stolen Social Security number to shield his own identity.

    LifeLock is also being sued in Arizona over its $1 million service guarantee, which the plaintiffs claim is misleading because it only covers a defect in LifeLock's service, and in California by the Experian credit bureau. Experian accuses LifeLock of deceiving consumers about the breadth of its protection and abusing the system for attaching fraud alerts to credit reports.

    Security experts say complaints about the company reinforce the time-honored wisdom of keeping your Social Security number secret.

    "There's been a lot of marketing, a lot of hype about LifeLock," said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization. "The question is, 'How much protection does it really buy you?"'

    "There is no company that can guarantee they can protect you (completely) against identity theft," Stephens said. "Absolutely nobody can do that."
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  2. #2
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    There will always be creative criminal minds that are ready and able to disprove any boastful claims regarding security.

    Guard your SSN. I work in a field where i see illegal immigrants (and I'm not singling out any race) using the SSNs of dead people or someone from many states away and I bet the living victims never know about it.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  3. #3
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    PC World ran a story about this as well. They compared 6 different Identity Theft Prevention services and LifeLock was one of the worst.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

  4. #4
    Future's in the past....
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk5 View Post
    There will always be creative criminal minds that are ready and able to disprove any boastful claims regarding security.

    Guard your SSN. I work in a field where i see illegal immigrants (and I'm not singling out any race) using the SSNs of dead people or someone from many states away and I bet the living victims never know about it.
    Not sure whether this was what happened in our family or not, but someone managed to get a hold of my father's SSN and opened up several accounts. We finally started getting mail at my address for all of this (our names are the same) about a year later. We ended up having to send certified copies of my father's death certificate to three different creditors. I mean, come one, how many people pushing 90 are opening up credit card accounts?
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  5. #5
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    shoulda gone to freeeeeeee credit report.com, he woulda seen it coming at him like an atom bomb. they monitor your credit and give you email alerts, so you dont end up selling fish to tourists in t-shirts.
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    then ill build it from the mexican side. -my reply.

  6. #6
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisca View Post
    shoulda gone to freeeeeeee credit report.com, he woulda seen it coming at him like an atom bomb. they monitor your credit and give you email alerts, so you dont end up selling fish to tourists in t-shirts.
    I have learned to hate that jerk in those commercials.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    Yeah I often wondered if that really worked as well as he said it would. I'm glad it doesn't. Whattan idiot.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Those freecreditreport.com commercials are kinda funny.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

    www.geocaching.com - The site where you are the search engine.

  9. #9
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    In my line of work I pull credit reports on a frequent basis. You would be amazed at the crap I see on these things. Biggest thing lately seems to be 18 or 19 year old kids coming in to apply for their first rental and I find collections for utilties dating back a 5 or 6 years. Their own parents wreck the kids credit by putting the utilities in a 12 year old's name and then don't pay. The kids can't have it dropped off their credit unless they press fraud charges against their parents.. Their only other choice is to wait until it drops off after 7 years.

    Unfortunately, the utility company never forgets....we've heard stories about the first gas bill being 1200 bucks or more because the gas gods added the unpaid amount plus deposit to the new bill, or kids who couldn't get the utilities on in their name at all.

  10. #10
    Good Enough
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    We own a rental house in Richmond Va. A few years back we received a call from our mngt company. Seems our renters , the children of the next door neighbors (we used to live in this house while my husband was in residency) had been arrested by the federal govt and were in jail....soon to be prison. They were printing checks at home using fake names with real acct #'s, and ID fraud for other accts.

    They applied for the lease under assumed names, went to several outlet malls, bought $1000's worth of mall debit cards in 50-75 $ increments and would spend them immediately. They opened credit accts at Pottery Barn and had 3 BR suites, 3 leather sofas, loves seats, ottomans delivered - oh and a kitchen table 6 chairs and a hutch. New appliances for the kitchen (we did get to keep those)

    They wrote checks for $14,000 worth of Target gift cards- all in small amounts, different checking accts, and would spend them in Fredricksburg or DC (close enough to Richmond) Wrote tons of bad checks at Ikea and around the Richmond area EVERYWHERE they went.... food, clothing, you name it.

    So the FBI finally cacthes up with these tools (a brother and sister, sisters friend and her 3 yr old daughter) they arrest them, trash the house, ect...

    They also had an illegal MONKEY in the house. In all, they had over $350,000 worth of stolen goods. Clothing, Coach gloves, a $3000 monkey cage?, linens for the beds from Palais Royale, tempur pedic mattresses - I mean it was amazing!!!!!

    I go in to check things out and was overwhelmed - monkey was at the SPCA it looked like a tornado had gone through

    We could not rent our house for 5 months, we had to finally cuss out the Commonwealths Attorney to get them to clean all the stuff out (they claimed they could find no where to "STORE" the household stolen goods - so vendors could reclaim them?). We were threatened with jail if WE cleaned it out, even the fridge?

    To top things off we were not compensated buy the outcome
    (2 yrs later) because we were not directly affected by the crime....how do you like that? I loved it! We were out over $8000 in the end, rent, attny fees, ect... I did however end up with a nice $250 Coach kidskin gloves that were left on the sidewalk by the trash (seriously!) tags still on them.

    Guess what the name was the guy was using on our lease????

    Can't guess, come on be creative y'all.....

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  11. #11
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EVHgirl in Va View Post
    We own a rental house in Richmond Va. A few years back we received a call from our mngt company. Seems our renters , the children of the next door neighbors (we used to live in this house while my husband was in residency) had been arrested by the federal govt and were in jail....soon to be prison. They were printing checks at home using fake names with real acct #'s, and ID fraud for other accts.

    They applied for the lease under assumed names, went to several outlet malls, bought $1000's worth of mall debit cards in 50-75 $ increments and would spend them immediately. They opened credit accts at Pottery Barn and had 3 BR suites, 3 leather sofas, loves seats, ottomans delivered - oh and a kitchen table 6 chairs and a hutch. New appliances for the kitchen (we did get to keep those)

    They wrote checks for $14,000 worth of Target gift cards- all in small amounts, different checking accts, and would spend them in Fredricksburg or DC (close enough to Richmond) Wrote tons of bad checks at Ikea and around the Richmond area EVERYWHERE they went.... food, clothing, you name it.

    So the FBI finally cacthes up with these tools (a brother and sister, sisters friend and her 3 yr old daughter) they arrest them, trash the house, ect...

    They also had an illegal MONKEY in the house. In all, they had over $350,000 worth of stolen goods. Clothing, Coach gloves, a $3000 monkey cage?, linens for the beds from Palais Royale, tempur pedic mattresses - I mean it was amazing!!!!!

    I go in to check things out and was overwhelmed - monkey was at the SPCA it looked like a tornado had gone through

    We could not rent our house for 5 months, we had to finally cuss out the Commonwealths Attorney to get them to clean all the stuff out (they claimed they could find no where to "STORE" the household stolen goods - so vendors could reclaim them?). We were threatened with jail if WE cleaned it out, even the fridge?

    To top things off we were not compensated buy the outcome
    (2 yrs later) because we were not directly affected by the crime....how do you like that? I loved it! We were out over $8000 in the end, rent, attny fees, ect... I did however end up with a nice $250 Coach kidskin gloves that were left on the sidewalk by the trash (seriously!) tags still on them.

    Guess what the name was the guy was using on our lease????

    Can't guess, come on be creative y'all.....

    Alexander Hamilton - Alex Hamilton
    1st Treasuerer of the united states
    Sounds as if you needed to hire Vito and Guido and their gasoline cans (actually, can arsonists afford to use gasoline anymore?)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    Sounds as if you needed to hire Vito and Guido and their gasoline cans (actually, can arsonists afford to use gasoline anymore?)
    Probably not... just matches and some kindling these days

    It was an eye opening experience to say the least
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  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    If I owned rental property, I would have a strict "No Monkey" policy.







    Don't read this.

  14. #14
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Well, she did say it was an "illegal" monkey, so these folk didn't exactly seem to be concerned about "policies"!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EVHgirl in Va View Post
    We own a rental house in Richmond Va. A few years back we received a call from our mngt company. Seems our renters , the children of the next door neighbors (we used to live in this house while my husband was in residency) had been arrested by the federal govt and were in jail....soon to be prison. They were printing checks at home using fake names with real acct #'s, and ID fraud for other accts.

    They applied for the lease under assumed names, went to several outlet malls, bought $1000's worth of mall debit cards in 50-75 $ increments and would spend them immediately. They opened credit accts at Pottery Barn and had 3 BR suites, 3 leather sofas, loves seats, ottomans delivered - oh and a kitchen table 6 chairs and a hutch. New appliances for the kitchen (we did get to keep those)

    They wrote checks for $14,000 worth of Target gift cards- all in small amounts, different checking accts, and would spend them in Fredricksburg or DC (close enough to Richmond) Wrote tons of bad checks at Ikea and around the Richmond area EVERYWHERE they went.... food, clothing, you name it.

    So the FBI finally cacthes up with these tools (a brother and sister, sisters friend and her 3 yr old daughter) they arrest them, trash the house, ect...

    They also had an illegal MONKEY in the house. In all, they had over $350,000 worth of stolen goods. Clothing, Coach gloves, a $3000 monkey cage?, linens for the beds from Palais Royale, tempur pedic mattresses - I mean it was amazing!!!!!

    I go in to check things out and was overwhelmed - monkey was at the SPCA it looked like a tornado had gone through

    We could not rent our house for 5 months, we had to finally cuss out the Commonwealths Attorney to get them to clean all the stuff out (they claimed they could find no where to "STORE" the household stolen goods - so vendors could reclaim them?). We were threatened with jail if WE cleaned it out, even the fridge?

    To top things off we were not compensated buy the outcome
    (2 yrs later) because we were not directly affected by the crime....how do you like that? I loved it! We were out over $8000 in the end, rent, attny fees, ect... I did however end up with a nice $250 Coach kidskin gloves that were left on the sidewalk by the trash (seriously!) tags still on them.

    Guess what the name was the guy was using on our lease????

    Can't guess, come on be creative y'all.....

    Alexander Hamilton - Alex Hamilton
    1st Treasuerer of the united states
    Wow, all of my horror rental stories involve the Landlord. People like that are the reason I could never rent out a house that I owned.
    "Viking - last to sleep, first to rise, last to leave, that's how the Nords of old rocked the house." ~ timmac in the 'Texas Linkers' thread talking about yours truly. :-)

 

 

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