Archive for May, 2010
Many of us hear about the threat of identity theft and do nothing to prevent it because it hasn’t happened to us. The scenarios below are based on a few stories that were found on another blog, but they help us to think about how real this crime can be.
What if you are out grocery shopping and you leave your purse in the cart for a brief second and then it is quickly stolen? In this purse, you had your credit cards, debit card, checkbook some cash and your cell phone! Now, the thief sends a text to the entry you have for your “hubby” asking him to remind you of your PIN number. He texts it back to your phone and the thief can now steal your cash. This shows how important it is to:
1) Keep your personal belongings with you. Leaving them for just a second can prove to be a huge mistake.
2) Do not save your husband, mom, children, etc. in your cell phone by a title. Use their first name so that it is not easy for anyone who might steal your phone to figure out who they are.
3) Be sure that you call to follow up with anyone asking for sensitive information (like your PIN number) via text. This is especially important if it is unusual behavior for you and your spouse or other family members.
Here is another scenario from the same blog:
You go to the gym and put your wallet, phone, keys, etc in your gym locker. You shut the locker, not realizing that it is not locked. After your workout, you see that the locker is open so the first thing you do is check to be sure that all of your valuables are still there. Once you realize that your keys, phone, credit cards and even cash are still in there, you think all is well.
A month passes by and you go to check your bank/credit card statements that just arrived in the mail (or via email). You notice a huge balance on a card that you know you haven’t used. You go to your wallet to be sure that you are in possession of the card, only to realize that it is a different credit card from the same bank. Someone switched out the card while they were going through your wallet at the gym. It is close to impossible to plead your case with the credit card company because you didn’t report the card stolen earlier.
What can we learn from this? First, be sure to check the contents of your wallet carefully and regularly, but especially when you notice anything unusual. Go with your gut feeling. Second, don’t take all of that with you to the gym! When you leave home, chances are that you only need maybe one card from your wallet for purchases you will make, IF you are not using cash. Why take more than one credit card with you?
An online review service that compares consumer products and services, has recently done a LifeLock review that has ranked the company’s service #1 in the category of Identity Theft Protection Services. This has earned LifeLock the Gold Award.
As an industry leader in proactive identity theft protection, LifeLock helps consumers to protect themselves from the crime of identity theft. TopTenREVIEWS has given LifeLock this rating due to what they deem to be “standout features” such as: Reduced Credit Card Offers, LifeLock Identity Alert System and $1 Million Total Service Guarantee.
“We are honored to be considered by TopTenREVIEWS as the #1 identity theft protection service,” said LifeLock Chairman and CEO Todd Davis. “LifeLock is working daily to help stop identity thieves from profiting by using members’ sensitive, personal information. We are committed to our mission to help protect all things personal for our members through providing the most robust protection.”
The LifeLock Identity Alert System is one of the more recent upgrades to the membership and it offers advanced detection services that work to identify fraudulent applications for several types of credit and non-credit based services, such as: credit cards, auto and mortgage loans, utilities, wireless services, and more.
As far as the reputation of LifeLock, here is a nice review written by TopTenREVIEWS:
“LifeLock has showcased a very unique and aggressive marketing and advertising campaign, making them the most well-known of all identity theft protection services. CEO Todd Davis is so confident in the service they provide that he posted his social security number (457-55-5462, if you’re interested) on their homepage. While neither he nor TopTenREVIEWS recommends revealing your social security number to the public, the gesture does make a memorable statement as to the strength of their service, which we have no reason to oppose.
LifeLock also has been the target of quite a bit of negative press, further bringing them to the forefront. We looked into the service they provide and acknowledge that while they have been subject to harsh criticism, they still have very high customer satisfaction and consumer comparison ratings. They are a Better Business Bureau accredited corporation, and have withstood the test of time for over 4 years.”
Lately, several websites have been reporting negative news about the CEO of LifeLock, Todd Davis. These sites have released stories that are focusing on reports that Davis has been a victim of identity theft at least 13 times while advertising for the company.
As many are aware, Davis’ social security number was shown in large print on the side of a truck in early campaign ads. This led to the temptation of identity thieves to use his social security number to secure loans or services and caused people to complain that the service doesn’t work. However, Davis does an interview that can be found here on ComputerWorld.com and he shows that the service does work. The hundreds of attempts to use his social security number that were shut down far outweigh the number of attempts that are reported to be successful, however those are not being reported to offset the negative publicity.
Many still wish to complain that LifeLock is a scam and that it is taking advantage of paying members who can perform these services themselves for free. Again, Davis addresses this issue and shows that if people would take the time to do their due diligence and really research ALL that this service has to offer to its members, then these really aren’t services that are easily performed for free.
Again, people must realize that LifeLock has never advertised that nothing will happen to your identity while a member of their service. If that were the case, there would be no need for the $1 Million guarantee they offer (see LifeLock.com for details).
In the ComputerWorld.com interview, Davis also addresses the decision that resulted from complaints by the FTC which have now been resolved.
People must keep in mind that any company out their doing business will have problems, it is just a fact of life. How these problems are handled shows whether they are a company worth doing business with. The next few articles will show how LifeLock continues to show excellence in their industry, by receiving top rankings such as #1 Ranking on TopTenReviews and Best-In-Class 5-star rating by TopConsumerReviews.
LifeLock has been named a finalist in 27 categories for the 2010 American Business Awards. As an industry leader in proactive identity theft protection since 2005, the company has been recognized by the American Business Awards in the past for Best Overall Company.
This will be the 8th annual American Business Awards program. Winner’s of this years Stevie Awards will be announced at the annual gala held this year on Monday, June 21. The event will be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City with over 600 executives from across the nation expected to attend. Business TalkRadio Network will broadcast the ceremonies nationwide.
Over 2,500 entries were submitted in over 40 categories. LifeLock has been submitted for Most Innovative Company of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year and Fastest-Growing Company of the Year. They are also entered in 24 other categories.
“To be recognized as finalists in so many great categories is an honor for LifeLock and a tribute to our employees,” said Todd Davis, LifeLock Chairman and CEO. “This is the third straight year that we have been recognized by the American Business Awards, and as a company striving for world-class products and service, it’s something that validates we are moving in the right direction.”
Take advantage of the enhanced protection of a LifeLock membership today, and receive a discount by using promotion code DEFENSE.
Many people wait to take care of important matters, not realizing how detrimental the wait can prove to be!
Many married couples and parents tend to put off having their will written. Most do so because of the fear of addressing what would happen if one, or both parties, were to die. Unfortunately, this is something everyone will have to address and by ignoring the matter, it makes things much worse for loved ones. Financial obligations, property assignment and custodians of the children are all matters that are left to authorities to decide if no will is left behind.
It is the same scenario when it comes to your identity. This is something that we should all work harder to protect, because once your identity is stolen, things will not be the same. It will be harder to get credit, write checks, purchase a car or home and even credit cards, checking accounts and savings accounts can be wiped out in a matter of hours! However, far too many people wait until it is too late to do anything about protecting one of their most important assets, their social security number.
Doing your research on the internet should prove that there are literally thousands upon thousands of victims out there, with many more that we will probably never hear from The reality is almost to the point where you have to say it is not “if” but “when”. Anyone who has a social security number is at risk. Yes, even children are among the victims of identity theft!
It has happened in several different ways, so don’t wait until it is too late and your identity is stolen. Information stolen from a company computer; a laptop with important information on it is lost; a school with thousands of student and employee social security numbers stored in its databases is hacked; a doctor’s office or hospital with data stored in their database is hacked; a car dealership with electronic applications is, you guessed it, hacked; a pre-approved credit card offer is stolen from your mail and filled out by someone else using a change of address and your social security number; an employee of a restaurant you just ate at has stolen credit card numbers and created new credit cards; the list can go on and on.
What can you do? You can’t prevent your identity from being stolen, but you might be able to prevent someone else from using it! Look into the many services that are provided by companies like LifeLock and either enroll now and have them take care of it for you or take care of these things yourself. Even if you don’t enroll right now, the information provided on the LifeLock.com website is very helpful in fighting back against identity theft. Be sure you take care of this for your family members as well. Your spouse, children, mother, father, sister, brother, family, friends and coworkers are all at risk. Be proactive. Help inform them of how this nationwide crime can affect them.
Many in today’s society still feel that it is safe to leave certain everyday occurrences to chance, since they have never resulted in problems in the past. For instance, some feel that it is “safe” to leave their purse or wallet in the car, while they visit an establishment, family or friend for extended (or even brief) period of time. However, even when the car is locked, it is still not a good idea to leave anything valuable in the car.
1) If you happen to leave your purse even slightly visible, it tempts someone to break into the vehicle when they otherwise might not have;
2) Leaving valuables in the car that might be stolen can lead to theft from your bank account via checks or debit cards. This is easier to get into than you might think;
3) If you leave your purse in someone else’s car and they lock it, you might feel that it is safe to leave your keys. This gives a thief access to your home and your car, forcing you to have locks changed immediately;
4) Leaving your purse and wallet in the car also gives a thief several clues about you. Your license or checks tells them where you live and your cards give them access to your money;
5) You will never feel secure once you find that someone else has your address and has used your money. You know absolutely nothing about them and wonder if they will victimize you again in the future;
6) If you have children, this will compound your worries. Will the thief come by the house and see what you have and who is there?
7) If you had your social security card in your wallet, they now have a way to create credit in your name that you will be unaware of if you don’t use proactive measures to protect yourself.
There are many people online who ask this question. Their response is: “you can just protect your own identity.”
You are knowledgeable enough to know that you can find all the information needed to be sure that your social security number is as secure as possible, and you will be alerted if any suspicious activity is reported in connection with your social security number. Only, you are the only one who knows whether you applied for that new line of credit or that department store credit card. You are the only one who can determine if it is “suspicious” or “fraudulent” activity, because to the average credit reporting agency, it’s all initiated by you!
Now let’s say that someone has opened a new credit card in your name using their address, so you didn’t get the acknowledgment letter or the first, second, third, etc. bills. How can you be sure that you will prevent this account from being your responsibility if you never reported the theft or called the company to let them know that it wasn’t you? The answer is that you can’t do that if you are not alerted to the new account in the first place.
This is why you pay to protect your identity! Is it not worth it to protect yourself, for the price of a few cups of coffee and a hamburger? Those aren’t good for your physical health, so why do you buy them? It is because you want them. Even though you may not want to pay to protect your identity, it is well worth the financial awareness that it brings when you receive monthly updates on your financial status. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that someone is doing that for you and that you are being protected? It is also a nice reminder that you need to keep on top of checking your credit reports and be sure that they are a true picture of your financial life right now. Keep your financial health strong!
In recent news, LifeLock has announced that they have formed a strategic partnership with NBA All-Star and Phoenix Suns forward, Grant Hill. Hill will be used in various marketing efforts for the company.
The partnership between LifeLock and the Phoenix Suns is not a new one. Formed in 2007, the partnership has provided many opportunities for the leader in proactive identity theft protection to market the brand.
As LifeLock’s new spokesperson, the 2009-2010 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner will offer basketball fans the opportunity to learn more about identity theft crime and important methods to use for protection.
“This exciting partnership with Grant Hill gives LifeLock a great opportunity to focus on reaching more consumers with our proactive identity theft protection message,” said Marvin Davis, LifeLock’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Grant provides a strong voice behind our service that will undoubtedly be heard by basketball fans around the country.”
The marketing efforts will involve several communication channels, including television, digital media and print. Hill will soon appear in LifeLock television, radio and print ads.
“With increasing threats of identity theft, I look forward to helping LifeLock build on their identity theft protection initiatives,” said Hill. “Educating consumers on ways to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim will be our focus.”
LifeLock has been providing consumers with tools to help protect themselves from identity theft since 2005. An industry leader in proactive identity theft protection, the company has its focus on educating consumers on the increasing threats of identity theft. LifeLock has also spent years working with law enforcement and elected officials to increase the awareness of identity theft in the community. Multiple awards won by the company include: American Business Awards – Best Overall Company and Arizona Corporate Excellence – Arizona’s Fastest Growing Company.