Monday, May 26, 2008

Identity Theft Hits Lifelock CEO From His Own Ads

In response to dares posed by the CEO of Lifelock, an
Arizona firm which has run ads featuring his Social
Security Number (SSN), an instance of identity theft
fraud was successfully perpetrated against Todd Davis.


"Davis acknowledged in an interview with The Associated
Press that his stunt has led to at least 87 instances in which
people have tried to steal his identity, and one succeeded:
a guy in Texas who duped an online payday loan operation
last year into giving him $500 using Davis' Social Security
number.

Davis learned about the fraud in Texas when the payday-
loan outfit called to collect on the loan, he said. He didn't
get an alert beforehand because the company didn't go
through one of the three major credit bureaus before
approving the transaction."


The article further illustrated the danger in deliberately
provoking identity thieves to use his widely available
Social Security Number (SSN) as a publicity stunt in
promoting his company's fraud prevention services
in newspapers, on billboards, radio, & even MTV:

"Davis said it's possible driver's licenses have been issued
to other people in his name because of the widespread
availability of his personal information — and because
of what he described as the flimsy mechanisms in
place to
report that kind of fraud."


Look - anyone who's been involved with studying identity
theft from more than just a cursory perspective would
readily understand that identity theft fraud comes in
many forms and there are several very serious types
of identity theft that no credit bureau's profile
report
was ever set up to catch - let alone alert
you to
:

Medical ID Theft - where someone uses your name and SSN
to obtain medical care often times in a busy hospital emergency
room. Besides the medical insurance problems this can create
for you, even worse your life can be put in peril as the identity
theft fraudster will cause your blood type, medicine interactions,
and allergies to be listed incorrectly on your medical records.

SSN Fraud - where someone uses your social security number
to illegally work within the U.S. which as a result you run the
potential to have the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) send
you a delinquent tax payment demand due to supplemental
income not reported on your annual tax filings. With penalties
and interest, you could easily be looking at a 15% - 20%
incremental tax bill. Ask the lady in California who was served
a demand to pay a $1,000,000 back taxes bill.


Criminal Arrest Identity Theft - where a criminal uses your name
and SSN upon their arrest to avoid any prior offenses from showing
up. The result of this fraud perpetrated against your good name,
though, is you now have just entered the vast criminal information
network. Any unpaid parking tickets or failure to appear in court
notices listed under your name will lead to a potential arrest warrant
that can easily render you time in jail and job loss.

One of our long time editors, took the proactive step to check his
public information profile and was alarmed to find out a convicted
felon in Ohio shared the same first and last name (different middle
initial).


He could have easily been mistaken for the criminal who had been
convicted of assault and battery, but had skipped his bail hearing
and was eventually apprehended.

So, our tip for today is twofold.

Unlike the CEO of Lifelock, remove your social security number
from your wallet or purse to eliminate the potential for an identity
thief to gain easy access.

Secondly, get your public information profile (pip) and review it
for any instances of whether an identity theft fraudster has
already committed acts against your good reputation
and
social security number with medical or criminal
identity
theft.

These simple, effective steps will immeasurably lower your
potential for identity theft.


PS: Make sure to tell a friend about this important development
in the war against identity theft scams and credit fraud.

8 Comments:

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, something about that guy and his television ads just never quite sat right with me.

I mean here's a guy who's purposefully giving out his social security number - just begging identity thieves to come get him.

The whole thing just seemed so over the top, I never could quite get over that and to feel comfortable with providing my personal information to a company where the president seemed to hawking his services like some used car salesman.

How ironic that his own company's services did not save him from identity theft - which he brought on himself with all of the public grand standing.

 
At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Rambo said...

Somehow I sense the universe has dealt Mr. Todd Davis a dish of his own cooking.

He's been accused of selling a fraudulent service & look what happens.

A fraudster gets him with the very social security number provided to the whole TV viewing world.

Poetic justice.

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous BillD said...

This guy is really stupid. What point is he trying to make? I just signed up for id theft protection services through NextAdvisor. There is no way I would post my SS number in an ad.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

BillD said...

This guy is really stupid. What point is he trying to make?
---
No, I don't think he's stupid - but the track record tends to suggest perhaps a bit greedy and lacking in some judgement which some could construe as border line shady ethical standards.

But heh, its every man's humble opinion until the court's decide the outcome of the pending lawsuit that was filed by Experian.

Discover the Shocking Truth to Identity Theft

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agend 99, are you sure about that?

Is Lifelock Dumb?

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger Willam said...

Adding to the list of things you should do to protect yourself, shoudl be shredding. Taking your social security out of your wallet is a great idea. Make sure you don't have it on documents that you would throw out. I have a friend at Stordok (www.stordok.com) and she says she can't believe the number of people who have had problems just from people finding info on old mail and such and using it.

 
At 6:19 AM, Anonymous My Personal Finance Blog said...

agent99 are you sure about this?

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

Definitely - we knew people on the inside at the major credit bureaus.

 

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