Beware Fraudulent Anti-ID Theft Organizations

Todd Davis’s identity has been stolen at least 13 times.  Davis is CEO of LifeLock, a company that sells anti-identity-theft services, and their ads prominantly feature Davis’s real Social Security Number (the service works so well he can publicize it without compromise). Collection agencies across the US are trying to squeeze him for debts other people have racked up using the SSN they gleaned from the ad.

LifeLock’s co-founders, Richard Todd Davis and Robert J. Maynard Jr., claim that Maynard had once spent a week in the Maricopa County jail, falsely accused of crimes because his identity had been stolen.  The 2003 incident was the inspiration for the company.  Official records and interviews with authorities in Nevada proved the details of the story to be false.  Maynard had been arrested and jailed in Nevada, all right — he’d failed to pay back a $16,000 gambling marker at the Mirage casino in Las Vegas.  That’s a crime, just like bouncing a check.  Authorities dropped the charges after Maynard managed to scrape together the cash from inside of his cell.

LifeLock has already been fined $12,000,000 by the FTC for deceptive advertising.  The Phoenix New Times has a long story on LifeLock’s questionable business practices and services.  It’s a pretty comprehensive look at how to build something that doesn’t work very well, and then compound that with really bad business practices.  Maynard, the Valley businessman principally behind LifeLock during its inception, was banned for life in the 1990s from the credit-repair industry.  Maynard’s father, optometrist Robert Maynard Sr., has accused him of identity theft.  Oy!