Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock, claims his company offers such a high level of identity-theft protection that he's willing to advertise
his own social-security number. (It's 457-55-5462.) He's that sure no one is going to be able to steal his identity. Many criminals are quite happy to take him up on the challenge. From Yahoo! News
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.
Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear was recently involved in a similar situation
. He published his bank account code, claiming it was impossible for people to use it to steal money from him. Someone promptly used it to create a direct debit from his account.
The bigger issue, says attorney David Paris who's participating in a class-action suit against Lifelock, is that the company charges people $120 a year for an ineffective service: "Paris noted that LifeLock charges $10 a month to set fraud alerts with credit bureaus, even though consumers can do it themselves for free."
I get a couple calls a month from my credit card company trying to sell me their identity theft service. The last time they called (about two days ago) the telemarketer launched into her sales pitch and then suddenly yawned loudly in my ear. I appreciated the sentiment but hung up on her. I always hang up on telemarketers. Anyway, it seems to me that identity-theft services are a waste of money. I'd rather be careful and hope nothing happens, rather than guarantee I'll lose money by paying it to a protection company while still being at risk of identity theft.