LifeLock, the heavily advertised identity theft prevention company, and its CEO Richard "Todd" Davis are being sued by customers in class action lawsuits filed in Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia.
Customers of the company say that the service does not work and Davis knows this for a fact because he has actually been a victim of identity theft himself.
The LifeLock commercials feature Davis promising fraud-prevention and identity theft protection, customer testimonials and a van with Davis' real Social Security number painted on the side of it.
The bold nature of the advertising would be impressive if the claims that the company could absolutely and completely prevent identity theft were true.
David Paris, a lawyer who represents customers of LifeLock in the class action lawsuits, says that there is evidence of people either applying for or receiving driver's licenses using Davis' Social Security number on at least 20 occasions.
Davis has admitted to the Associated Press that the fact that he exposes his Social Security number in advertising has led to at least 87 attempts to steal his identity. One identity thief was successful at using Davis' Social Security number at a payday lending store and was loaned $500 in Davis' name.
The class action lawsuits against Davis and LifeLock revolve around the bold advertisements, which the lawsuits claim are false and misleading.
The plaintiff and lawyer David Paris say that LifeLock provides only a limited amount of identity protection for its subscribers, but the commercials and other advertising materials make claims of comprehensive security.
Additionally, the lawsuits claim that LifeLock did not advise them that use of the company's services could have a potentially adverse effect on their credit reports.
The LifeLock commercials also are enticing because of the offer of $1 million insurance policy against any losses sustained as a result of identity theft while subscribed to the service.
While this seems like an iron-clad guarantee against losses associated with identity theft, Paris claims that there are many legal limitations and disclaimers attached to this insurance and in reality the policy only guarantees that LifeLock will investigate how to correct its failure and will pay third-party companies to attempt to restore its customers' identity.
Subscribers are not entitled to any monetary compensation from LifeLock for identity theft, if and when it happens.
Additionally, there is no guarantee that subscribers who become victims of identity theft will have their credit status and reputation restored.
The LifeLock service charges subscribers $10 per month to place fraud alerts on credit reports at the three major credit bureaus. This is the service that they provide, however it is something that consumers could easily accomplish on their own for free.
Davis stands by the service and his advertising gimmick. He says that the payday lending store that loaned money to a customer using his Social Security number only did so because they did not use one of the three major credit bureaus before making the loan.
Davis also says that people may have been issued driver's licenses in his name because there is not a solid way to prevent that type of fraud.
He says there is no record of any outstanding debts on his credit report and no warrants for his arrest for unpaid tickets or other traffic violations.