Most of us have seen the LifeLock advertisement in which company CEO Todd Davis reveals his Social Security number and then speaks about the effectiveness of the company’s protections. Experian’s lawsuit claims that LifeLock’s ads are fraudulent and misleading. Experian also claims that LifeLock’s primary means of protecting its 600,000 clients is filing a fraud alert every 90 days for each LifeLock client.
A fraud alert is a notice/flag put on your credit report through the consumer reporting agencies. This flag establishes that as part of any credit approval process, you need to be notified.
Experian claims LifeLock’s practice of filing fraud alerts on behalf of clients is illegal because, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, “fraud alerts can only be requested by the individual consumer or an individual acting on behalf of the consumer.”
Further the lawsuit claims, adding four alerts per year for 600,000 LifeLock members to Experian’s database will degrade the effectiveness of legitimate fraud alerts over time. Credit grantors could lose the ability to distinguish between fraud alerts added by consumers who legitimately believe that identity theft is imminent and those added by LifeLock. The complaint alleges that credit grantors will have reason to doubt the credibility of all fraud alerts and their effectiveness for consumers legitimately impacted by fraud and identity theft will be severely compromised.
The complaint against LifeLock was filed by Experian in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.