Office of the Attorney General
Kentucky Joins the Federal Trade Commission and 34 Other States in Agreement with Lifelock for Misleading Advertising and Sales Tactics
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that Kentucky has joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 34 other states in an agreement with LifeLock, Inc., an identity theft protection provider, over misleading advertising practices.
“LifeLock’s marketing practices were deceptive and designed to capitalize on consumer’s fears of having their identity stolen,” said General Conway. “This agreement will protect Kentucky’s consumers by requiring LifeLock to provide accurate information regarding its identity theft protection services.”
The FTC and states began jointly investigating LifeLock amid allegations that the company made claims that misled consumers to believe its services were a “proven solution” that would protect against all forms of identity theft, including criminal, mortgage and child identity theft. LifeLock’s past advertisements also claimed that its identity theft services were “guaranteed” to protect consumers’ personal information and prevent criminals from using it to open accounts in their names. Some ads even included CEO Todd Davis’ Social Security Number, which Davis said, showed “how confident I am in LifeLock’s proactive identity theft protection.”
Although the FTC and state attorneys general share jurisdiction to investigate unfair and deceptive practices against consumers, a joint enforcement action of this magnitude is unprecedented.
Under the agreement, LifeLock is prohibited from misrepresenting that its services:
- Protect against all types of identity theft;
- Constantly monitor activity on each of its customers’ consumer reports;
- Always prompt a call from a potential creditor before a new credit account is opened in the customer’s name; and
- Eliminate the risk of identity theft.
LifeLock is also prohibited from overstating the risk of identity theft to consumers, including whether a particular consumer has become or is likely to become a victim. Past marketing materials have warned consumers about their heightened risk of identity theft when LifeLock did not have information to warrant such a warning.
LifeLock agreed to pay $11 million in restitution to consumers. The FTC and states will jointly send letters to eligible consumers, notifying them of the agreement and how they can opt-in to the settlement. LifeLock also agreed to pay $1 million, from which Kentucky will receive $15,000, to cover the costs of the states’ investigation.
Consumers may obtain more information about identity theft from the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/, click on “ID Theft”. The following is a direct link to the settlement http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/03/lifelock.shtm
States participating in today’s agreement include: 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.