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LifeLock barred from misrepresenting ID theft protections, AG Cooper says

Release date: 3/9/2010

35 AGs, FTC reach settlement with LifeLock, consumers to get $11 million back

Raleigh: LifeLock must stop misrepresenting services it sells to protect people from identity theft thanks to an agreement reached with North Carolina, 34 other states and the Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today. Consumers who paid for LifeLock services will also get $11 million in refunds.
 
“Identity theft is a serious crime, and criminals aren’t the only ones trying to make money off of it,” Cooper said. “Be careful of paying money for ID theft protection as it can leave you with a false sense of security.”
 
LifeLock sells identity theft services for $10 a month or $110 a year, services which past advertisements claimed were “guaranteed” to protect consumers’ personal information and prevent criminals from using it to open accounts in their names. Some ads even included CEO Todd Davis’ Social Security Number, which Davis said, showed “how confident I am in LifeLock’s proactive identity theft protection.”
 
Cooper and other state attorneys general began looking into LifeLock a year ago because of concerns about misleading statements in the company’s advertisements. The states, led by North Carolina and Illinois, worked with the FTC on the investigation and settlement.
 
Under the consent judgment filed today in North Carolina Superior Court, LifeLock can no longer represent that its services:
 
  • Provide complete protection against all types of identity theft;
  • Constantly monitor activity on each of its customers’ consumer reports;
  • Prevent unauthorized changes to customers’ address information;
  • Always prompt a call from a potential creditor before a new credit account is opened in the customer’s name; and
  • Eliminate the risk of identity theft.
 
LifeLock is also prohibited from overstating the risk of identity theft to consumers, including whether a particular consumer has become or is likely to become a victim, and the effectiveness and scope of its services.
 
People who signed up and paid for LifeLock services between April 1, 2005 and March 30, 2009 will have an opportunity to get their money back. LifeLock will pay $11 million to the FTC for consumer refunds. Eligible North Carolina consumers will get a letter from Cooper and the FTC with details about how to claim their refund.
 
LifeLock will pay another $1 million to the states, including $100,000 to North Carolina for investigative costs and consumer protection efforts.
 
Cooper encourages North Carolinians to take free steps to protect themselves from ID theft. “Consider a free security freeze to stop criminals from being able to open new accounts in your name and check your credit regularly,” Cooper said.
 
Consumers are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus. To access your free credit reports, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. 
 
Under a new state law, North Carolinians can also guard against identity theft by freezing their credit reports online for free. More information is available at www.ncdoj.gov.
 



Contact:  Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413