Todd Davis’s Social Security Number

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.

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Posted on Thu May 22, 2008


I had a telemarketer(on behalf of my bank) trying to sell me that for $80 a year. I asked what I got for my $$, and it was nothing that I couldnt do myself.
I kept trying to find out more about who they were and how they could live up to their promises and got put onto a supervisor, who very curtly asked if I was going to buy their service. I said not the way they described it, and at that price, and they hung up on me. Just like that!
I guess they thought I was wasting THEIR time. Lol.
Posted by AussieBruce  on  Thu May 22, 2008  at  10:51 AM
It's also worth noting that Federal Law in the US limits your liability to a maximum of $50 if someone misuses your credit card. And typically, you don't pay anything.

I've had my credit card number mis-used several times--once to buy a $1,000 purse--and I just say "Twasn't me" and the charge disappears.

Of course, the credit card companies would like us all to be VERY paranoid about it, because it costs them money (and they can sell you the "identify theft" protection).

And, yes, credit card misuse is included in the "identify theft" numbers. Which means I've had my identity stolen at least six times with absolutely zero effect on my credit rating (and it hasn't cost me a dime).
Posted by Frosted Donut  on  Thu May 22, 2008  at  11:24 AM
I signed up for their service back in March, being the victim of identity theft I wanted some protection. After the free 30 days I called them up and asked what exactly they do. The things that they do I had already done myself online for free. I canceled it. Just another company out to make a buck off of fear.
Posted by N E O  on  Thu May 22, 2008  at  11:34 AM
This is ALL quite amusing...
I invested in a shredder (46 bucks) and shred everything that has my name or personal information on it, BEFORE it hits the dumpster... Aside from all the other stuff the rest of you have already stated, THIS is the last thing you can do to help yourself, besides what Alex already said, "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."
Posted by Christopher  on  Thu May 22, 2008  at  06:10 PM
Zug has made few good experiments on how well credit card companis really guard teir data.
Posted by Murray Smiler  on  Fri May 23, 2008  at  04:47 AM
Zug was a good read.
So, did he get to keep all the stuff? Or did he pay for them all eventually. Sounds like he could have gotten away with not paying.
Posted by AussieBruce  on  Fri May 23, 2008  at  07:00 AM
"LifeLock charges $10 a month to set fraud alerts with credit bureaus, even though consumers can do it themselves for free."

Anyone have a good link to a walkthrough on how to make this happen? I never give in to telemarketers, so I don't pay for anything like that, but I'd love to set it up myself, for free.
Posted by Loaki  on  Fri May 23, 2008  at  07:26 AM
Fact is, you can take precautions to protect yourself like shredding, and set fraud alerts on your CR but we are all at risk anyway because we are in dozens if not hundreds of databases "out there", and only about 1/4 of ID theft is credit-related these days. Most is criminal, SS#, employment, medical, and drivers license. When it hits, you better have a lawyer on speed dial!

The best thing you can do is monitor your credit report, take sensible precautions, and invest in an ID RESTORATION policy that will offer complete restoration by professionals with a power of atty, along with 24/7 access to lawyers on retainer.

That service is available for about $320 a year which also covers all sorts of other legal services and situations unrelated to ID theft, like wills, lawsuits, traffic tickets, buying house, credit repair, etc. Info at
Posted by Natl ID Theft Awareness Project  on  Fri May 23, 2008  at  07:47 AM
Lifelock, Carbonite, and the free wireless webcams they were giving away over the net a few years ago, are examples of Big Brother insinuating itself into our lives... clubcards when shopping, RFID toll booths, RFID chips in the insole of all sneakers (look it up, don't belive me) social networking sites, wireless communication devices, yadda yadda... how much do they think we'll take, before we stand up and- wait, hold on, there's someone at the door... damn, they're loud- shit, it's the Fe
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon May 26, 2008  at  03:37 PM
I found it funny that Lifelock ran a full page ad in USA Today a couple days after this story ran....complete with his ssn.
Posted by Craig  on  Thu May 29, 2008  at  03:03 PM
As an update to this post its worth noting that at least 20 illegal driving licenses are now known to be in circulation, all in Todd Davis' name and all obtained using his SS number.

Last month a US district Judge declared Lifelock place fraud alerts on behalf of clients illegally and were ordered to stop.

Todd Davis declared it was 'business as usual' after the ruling and with profits currently running at well over $10 Million a month I would expect him to keep collecting those $10 a month right up to the point when the Feds are at his office door.
Posted by Joe  on  Thu Jul 16, 2009  at  03:34 AM
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