Lifelock promotional code: IDENTITY
(Saves you $21 and gives you 30 days free of Lifelock’s service)
Experian has sued Lifelock, a company that done a LOT in the promotion of their Identity Theft protection products.
Experian’s basis for this lawsuit is that LifeLock’s advertising is misleading and that Lifelock is breaking federal law in the way it uses fraud alerts to protect the information of consumers.
Experian has said that because LifeLock’s chief ID theft prevention tool — the placing of fraud alerts on individuals’ credit files – is being done by a company, rather than through the individual consumer or through someone acting on behalf of the consumer, that Lifelock is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Fair Credit Reporting Act uses some ubiqutios language in stating whether or not fraud alerts can be placed by a company.
Experian’s lawsuit says:
“The FCRA does not permit the placement of an initial fraud alert by corporations such as LifeLock. Despite this prohibition, LifeLock has surreptitiously placed hundreds of thousands of fraud alerts on Experian’s files by posing as the consumer.”
What’s funny about this lawsuit is that Experian and the other credit bureaus have been required by the federal government to allow these fraud alerts to be placed… before the laws were passed, consumers in most states didn’t really have much recourse against the credit bureaus without hiring an attorney.
Fraud alerts last for 90 days. These alerts tell any company which requests a consumer’s credit that they need to be aware that imposters could be using this person’s credit. Fraud alerts are only supposed to be placed in the case that there is “suspicion of imminent fraud.”
But with over 150 million records reported as compromised in the past 2 years alone (and who knows how many went unreported), isn’t there now always a reason for all of us to be concerned that there could be a situation for “imminent fraud?”
All it takes is one weirdo or other unwholesome character at any of the companies where I have insurance, any of the institutions where I do banking, any location where I use a credit card to buy something, at the DMV, at the post office, etc., and I can become an Identity Theft victim. I would say that makes the likelihood pretty high (perhaps even imminent?) that I could become a victim.
Experian says that placement of fraud alerts or really any promotion by LifeLock on behalf of any consumer who requests one also runs counter to federal law.
The service offered by LifeLock does include automated requests for new fraud alerts every 90 days. Lifelock actually renews these every 70 days, as Robert Prusinski told us in Lifelock’s Promotional Interview with Identity Theft Secrets. Renewing this every 70 days effectively creates a fraud alert which goes on indefinitely. Experian calls these “illegal fraud alerts.”