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Lifelock's fraud-prevention service takes more legal flak

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LifeLock's dubious fraud-prevention service is attracting more flak, this time from disgruntled customers in three US states who say it fails to provide the comprehensive protection its CEO and high-profile pitchman claims.

The lawsuits, filed by individuals from Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia, take issue with LifeLock ads, in which Todd Davis says he is so confident in the service that he volunteers his Social Security number. What isn't mentioned is that on at least 87 occasions, Davis's Social Security number has been used in attempts to steal his identity, and at least one of those times, the perpetrator was successful.

"It's further evidence of the ineffectiveness of the services that LifeLock advertises," David Paris, an attorney suing on behalf of the dissatisfied customers, told the Associated Press. Davis also told AP reporter Jordan Robertson it's possible that driver's licenses have been issued to other people in his name as a result of the widespread availability of his personal information. But he ascribes this possibility to flimsy fraud checks used by most departments of motor vehicles, rather than the ineffectiveness of his service.

The lawsuits follow a complaint filed in February by Experian, which claimed LifeLock used fraudulent means to place wholesale fraud alerts on customer's credit reports. Not that we have much sympathy for the credit reporting service, which puts millions of consumers at risk for identity theft every day and then charges them fees to reduce the risk. Yes, Experian's practices are questionable and its fraud-prevention services compete with LifeLock's, but that doesn't mean its legal argument is without merit, either.

Not that Davis is about to concede any of that. He stands by the gimmicky ads.

"I know I'm taking a slightly higher risk," he says. "But I'll take my risk for the tremendous benefit we're bringing to society and to consumers." ®

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