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03/12/2010

LifeLock settles advertising dispute with Texas Attorney General

ID Theft Promises Were Too Much


{From Star-Telegram Watchdog Columnist Dave Lieber]


Nobody, it seems, advertises more than LifeLock.com.

You hear their ads on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, done by Rush himself.

You know company founder Todd Davis' Social Security number (457-55-5462) because he broadcasts it everywhere to show he's not worried about someone stealing it (even though a Fort Worth man did just that a few years ago here).


Lifelock


But some of that advertising might have gone a little too far, according to legal documents filed in a settlement announced March 9 by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and 34 other states.

Under the terms of the agreement, LifeLock Inc. "agreed to more accurately describe its ID theft protection services." The company also agreed to pay $11 million in restitution to eligible customers.

As part of a joint investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and the states, LifeLock "unlawfully exaggerated its range of services and ability to prevent ID theft." LifeLock is NOT allowed to state that its products:

- provide "complete protection" against ID theft

- prevent unauthrorized changes to customers' address information

- constantly monitors activity on its customers' credit reports

- ensure a customer will always receive a phone call from a creditor before a new account is opened.

Watchdog Bytes contacted LifeLock after the settlement was announced. Spokeswoman Cortney Lanik released this statement from Davis:

 

“LifeLock is pleased with this agreement, which works to set advertising standards for the entire identity theft protection industry. As FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz stated ... the FTC has ensured that LifeLock has a legitimate business model going forward with honest advertising.  Notably, as part of its just-concluded investigation, the FTC reviewed both the LifeLock service and LifeLock's current advertising to confirm that LifeLock is in compliance with all applicable legal requirements. We will abide by the terms of this consent decree because we intend to continue to be true to our core mission -- to help protect you, your family and your friends from identity theft.

 

“We welcome federal and state efforts to regulate our industry because, at the end of the day, doing so helps to protect consumers from the risks of identity theft. Because of LifeLock’s marketing efforts, many more Americans now know of the risks of identity theft and the need to take effective action to protect themselves. LifeLock is committed to developing and applying the most advanced technologies available to help protect consumers from the consequences of identity theft. We will continue to work very closely with federal and state regulators on regulatory and best practices to protect individual consumers.

 

"Nothing changes as a result of this settlement because it was based on activities from over
two years ago. We agreed to settle this matter in order to quickly put this behind us so we can get back to doing what we do best – helping to protect our members from identity theft.”

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