Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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March 9, 2010

Attorney General Corbett announces $12 million consumer settlement with LifeLock over "ID Theft Protection" claims

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania, along with 34 other states, has reached a $12 million settlement with LifeLock Inc, an Arizona-based company accused of making confusing or misleading statements in the advertisement and promotion of its identity theft protection services.

"Identity theft is a major subject of concern and consumers deserve clear and accurate information before they spend their hard-earned money on so-called protection services," Attorney General Tom Corbett said. "There is no place for exaggerated claims, ambiguous statements or unsubstantiated claims when discussing this extremely serious consumer issue."

Corbett noted that the settlement includes an $11 million national fund for consumer relief, along with $1 million to support future consumer protection investigations and education by the states.  He explained that all eligible LifeLock customers will be contacted directly by the Attorney General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission with instructions about how to file a claim.

According to the investigation, LifeLock was accused of making numerous misleading statements and claims, including:

  • "Complete protection" against identity theft.
  • "Constant monitoring" of consumers' credit reports.
  • Preventing unauthorized changes to consumer credit information.
  • Protecting children from identity theft (despite the fact that most children don't have a credit history to protect).
  • Stopping pre-approved credit card offers (which consumers can do for free). 

Corbett said the investigation also reviewed complaints that LifeLock allegedly exaggerated the risk of identity theft, inflated the likelihood that consumers would become future victims and made confusing statements about a "million dollar guarantee" which would not actually provide any compensation or reimbursement for victims.

"It is important for every consumer to understand that some of the most important steps toward preventing or quickly catching identity theft can be done at home, absolutely free of charge," Corbett said. "Closely checking your monthly credit card bills for unauthorized charges, studying your bank statements for unusual activity and regularly reviewing your credit report for signs of suspicious new accounts will give you a clear and accurate picture of your credit activity - putting you in a strong position to respond to any problems."

Corbett noted that every Pennsylvania consumer is entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus.  By spreading out their requests, it is possible for consumers to retrieve their credit reports several times per year - minimizing the length of time that any problems could go unnoticed.

Consumers can request their free credit reports by using the national website, created specifically for this purpose:  www.annualcreditreport.com

Corbett also urged concerned consumers to visit the "Identity Theft Toolkit" section of the Attorney General's website for tips to help prevent ID theft, along with step-by-step instructions for responding to any problems you encounter.

The consumer protection settlement with LifeLock was filed today in Commonwealth Court by Deputy Attorney General Kathryn H. Silcox, of the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The multi-state investigation involving LifeLock included Pennsylvania, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

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