LifeLock reaches settlement with 35 states

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LifeLock has reached a $12 million settlement with the FTC and 35 states over deceptive advertising. The FTC has full details of the specific claims it cited LifeLock for.

Current and former customers who may be eligible for a refund will receive a letter in the mail from the FTC with details on how to proceed. Visit FTC.gov/Lifelock for more details or call 202-326-3757.

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, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia all took part in the settlement, according to the FTC.

If you’ve ever seen or heard a LifeLock ad, you know that CEO Todd Davis proudly announces his Social Security number — essentially challenging thieves to steal his identity. It’s brilliant marketing that’s won them a lot of customers.

Know that Lifelock is not a scam. But you’re paying for false security.

LifeLock’s business model is based on offering a glorified monitoring service and repeatedly putting fraud alerts on your credit files. These alerts are meant to raise a flag to potential creditors so they carefully verify an applicant’s identity before extending credit.

Too often, however, the alerts are ignored and credit is extended anyway to thieves using your name.

So what’s the best available solution? Do a credit freeze. You’ll pay zero to $10 per bureau, depending on your state. This will shut a criminal down cold when they try to apply for new lines of credit in your name.

Credit freezes will not, however, prevent account takeover fraud where someone steals your credit card, your credit card number or a so-called “convenience” check from your mailbox. Executive producer Christa recently has a thief take checks from her mailbox and try to cash them in for $24,000. Fortunately, her bank caught it before the money was lost.

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