I did a post yesterday on WalletPop about LifeLock. They basically advertise services to protect you from identity thieves.
When the service first was unveiled, I was intrigued. So much so, that I signed up to be an affiliate. (I never actually marketed the services as an affiliate, sold any products, or received any compensation, though.)
The concern of identity theft is very real, as many people have their data compromised each year. I even had my personal details compromised in 2006, thanks to the carelessness of the AICPA (the national professional organization for CPAs). So LifeLock initially seems to make sense…
But a couple of class action suits have been brought against LifeLock recently, and this caused me to look into their services a little further. Here’s what I found. The “big” services that they’re advertising are not worth the $10 per month membership fee, in my opinion. They essentially put a “fraud alert” on your credit report and opt you out of “preapproved” credit card offers. Both of those are easily accomplished in a couple of minutes by you, for free. If you want to pay LifeLock to do this for you, that’s your choice, but it’s certainly not worth a monthly fee.
The other component of the service is essentially an “insurance” product. They don’t call it that, because that would subject the company to insurance regulations in each state. But that’s essentially what it is. LifeLock offers a “$1,000,000 guarantee” that they will pay the cost to restore your credit if your identity is stolen. The problem with this part of the service? The class action lawyers say the “guarantee” is so full of exclusions so as to make it nearly worthless.
My post on WalletPop brought out defenders and critics of LifeLock. The most interesting? A guy named Jeremy Duffy who has officially proclaimed that LifeLock Sucks. Check out his web page devoted to LifeLock. It makes for interesting reading and gives even more details on the criticisms I’ve mentioned above. I think I’m going to look into this issue further. I’ll update my findings here. And hopefully this post will get some good comments as well.