Despite all the publicity that Lifelock continues to do well, a third class action has been filed against them for misleading advertising in West Virginia.

From the PR Newswire release:

Marks & Klein, LLP today filed its third class action lawsuit against LifeLock, Inc., a provider of identity theft protection services, and its CEO Richard “Todd” Davis. The lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, West Virginia (Docket No. 08-C-69), on behalf of Kevin Gerhold of Falling Rivers, as well as all other LifeLock subscribers in West Virginia.

This follows similar class actions filed in New Jersey and Maryland.

“The lawsuits allege that LifeLock and its multi-million-dollar advertising campaign provided false and misleading information about the limited level of identity protection the company provides, and failed to warn them about the potential adverse impact the company’s services could have on their credit profiles,” according to the press release.

Additionally, the release alleges that Lifelock CEO, Todd Davis has been a victim of identity theft multiple times since using his SSN as a marketing tool to sell the service.

So far only one instance of this has been reported. Here is what I wrote about it in a previous post about pending litigation between Experian and Lifelock:

Shortly thereafter, CEO Todd Davis made headlines when he organized a “posee,” complete with film crew to go after the person, who stole his identity to get a loan. The identity thief in question was described as mentally disabled by the authorities and the charges were dropped because of the questionable tactics used, referred to as coercion.

So far as Lifelock not protecting people from all forms of identity theft, as alleged in all three of these actions, I offered my speculation (opinion) on what that was referring to:

Another reason there is no way to guarantee protection is that not all identity theft shows up on credit bureaus. Some examples of this are in cases of medical benefit fraud, employment fraud, government benefit fraud, some forms of check fraud and last, but not least, when it is used to commit crimes of other than a financial nature.

The press release indicates that other law suits are being considered in other States.

An item of interest not disclosed in all the other actions was that a woman had her stolen debit card used to purchase identity theft services from Lifelock:

Beyond the charges leveled in the Complaints, lead counsel Paris related the story of a Wisconsin consumer who contacted the firm regarding her accidental experience with LifeLock. “Her debit card was stolen and the thief had the audacity to use the card to buy a subscription to LifeLock,” he noted. “Most disturbingly, LifeLock issued the subscription to the thief in the thief’s name, clearly failing to verify the appropriate information.”

I guess the person, who did this believes in protecting their own identity, at least, as long as, they aren’t paying for it, themselves?

The services offered by Lifelock aren’t much different than a lot of other services being offered by other companies. This has often led me to wonder if the actions against Lifelock are only the beginning?

The identity theft industry, which is growing at a double-digit rate, has attracted a of start up companies and it can be difficult for the consumer to determine exactly what they are paying for.

Most of the experts (not selling services) agree most people can fix their identity for free, and in the long run, they might do a better job of it, themselves.

If someone were to do this, a good place would be the FTC’s Identity Theft page. Other decent free resources are the Identity Theft Resource Center and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

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