Cracking LifeLock: Even After a $12 Million Penalty for Deceptive Advertising, the Tempe Company Can't Be Honest About Its Identity-Theft-Protection Service

It's been two months since the feds tried to gut LifeLock with a $12 million penalty for deceptive advertising, and the company's Web site still boasts that it can protect people from identity theft.

The Tempe-based company has spent millions of dollars since 2006 on ads that broadcast CEO Todd Davis' Social Security number. Customers pay $10 to $15 a month for the supposed protection — and for LifeLock's "$1 million guarantee" if the protection fails.

On one LifeLock Web page,, active until early May, Davis stated that he's "absolutely confident LifeLock is protecting my good name and personal information, just like it will yours."

LifeLock CEO Todd DavisMartha Strachan
Martha Strachan
LifeLock CEO Todd DavisMartha Strachan
Martha Strachan

Davis, a suit-wearing, ever-smiling salesman with short, blond hair, exudes confidence in LifeLock's ads.

But the evidence shows that he shouldn't be the slightest bit confident in LifeLock's ability to protect his name or personal data.

In June 2007, in the wake of a New Times article that exposed how LifeLock was founded with lies, news leaked that Davis had become the victim of identity theft. A man in Texas had used Davis' ID to take out a $500 loan, and Davis didn't know about it until the unpaid account went to a collection agency.

In the following months, Davis and LifeLock worked hard to spin the story into something positive. Davis claimed in an interview with MSNBC in May 2008 that the Texas incident was the one and only time anything like that had ever happened to him.

Another LifeLock page dedicated to Todd Davis, ( claimed (until it, like the other Davis page, was removed by LifeLock on May 4 following inquiries by New Times) that Davis "has looked to LifeLock for protection after an identity theft . . . but only once, and LifeLock was there to help."

New Times has learned, though, that the Texas incident wasn't a fluke.

In October 2007, a few months after news broke that Davis had become a victim, someone in Albany, Georgia, opened an AT&T wireless account using Davis' personal info, a Chandler police report shows. (See the PDF version of the report.)

As Todd Davis tried to deflect the bad press in the wake of the Texas crime, the Albany resident was racking up hours on a cell phone in Davis' name.

By the time AT&T cut off the person, he or she had amassed a large, unpaid bill. The amount with which AT&T was stuck wasn't disclosed, but in the fall of 2008, the phone company authorized a collection agency to try to recover a $2,390 debt.

That's when LifeLock and Davis finally learned of the theft.

A LifeLock employee reported the identity crime to Chandler police on November 21, 2008, while Todd Davis was traveling out of state.

After a short time on the case, Chandler forwarded it to police in the Georgia city, which still is still investigating. Phyllis Banks, a spokeswoman for the Albany agency, tells New Times that investigators went to the address listed on the bill and interviewed a local woman, but no arrests had been made.

When Albany investigators phoned Davis about the crime last year, "they were very familiar with him" and how he'd publicized his Social Security number, she says.

"It's unfortunate he chose to conduct business in that way," Banks says. "It's not fair to [AT&T] because they're losing a pretty substantial amount of money."

Yet AT&T wasn't the only company getting screwed by LifeLock's advertising scheme — because plenty more criminals have made use of Davis' data.

Records show that LifeLock representative Tamika Jones called the Chandler PD again in February 2009 to report a slew of fraudulent accounts opened in Davis' name.

As with the AT&T account, the amounts owed on the fraudulent accounts were not revealed in the police report — only the amounts sought by various companies and collection agencies, listed below. Because these companies often forgive or waive a percentage of the bills of debtors, the dollar amount of the losses could easily be higher.

More cell-phone service was fraudulently charged to Davis: Someone opened a Verizon account in New York, leaving behind unpaid bills of at least $186.

An account at Centerpoint Energy, a Texas utility, was opened. At least $122 went unpaid.

Fake Davises owe $573 to Credit One Bank and $312 to Swiss Colony, a gift-basket company.

Two other accounts, one for USA Savings Bank and a Gap credit card, were opened successfully in Davis' name but showed zero balances as of early 2009.

There were also multiple dings by collection agencies: Bay Area Credit, $265; two for Associated Credit Services, $207 and $213; and two for Enhanced Recovery Corporation, $250 and $381. Finally, there was a NCO/Fin 22 collection-agency account for $2,390, which could be the AT&T bill (considering the identical amount).

Full details as to what happened with these accounts could not be obtained from Davis. But it's clear that criminals in different locales have used Davis' ID to obtain a host of loans, goods, and services.

Davis' personal ID hasn't been merely abused since he began advertising his SSN — it's been gang-raped.

Counting the Texas incident, he's been a victim at least 13 times since 2007.

More such incidents may exist — Davis should know how many. He could reveal his credit reports from the past few years, if he wanted customers to know the truth. But LifeLock refused to discuss Davis' role as a frequent identity-theft victim or answer any other questions from New Times for this story.

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Leaving the office and ready to head home, you take to the streets to hail a cab. None. Not one. It’s barren. Finally, there’s scientific evidence backing this urban legend. The explanation is steeped in NYC taxi economics. With each cab holding two drivers a day, each working a 12-hour shift, taxi owners schedule shift changes so each shift gets a rush hour—more money for each driver. If rap’s taught us anything, it’s “Mo money, mo problems.” In recent decades, most cabbie garages relocated to outer boroughs, so, now, to switch, cabbies are driving into Long Island City for their 5 p.m. changeover, leaving fewer cabs on the road between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m
Schultzy @


The LL products were not developed in a jail cell in 2003. The nefarious origin was developed in the back of a taxi cab in March 2005, in less than 35 minutes with the help of a taxi driver named “Jimmie” who came up with the information on fraud alerts, because of his misfortune in Id Theft in 2002, and learning of placing credit fraud alerts by then Gov. Janet Napolitano in Arizona in September 2003 for 2 yrs. originally, then changed to every 3 months in February 2005, and the Original intellectual idea for “Lost Wallet” and “True Credit Address” & “Red Alerts”, a self replicating software product came from “Jimmie”. Also marketing channels of advertising were discussed. You should have seen Mr. Maynard after learning of the fraud alert system and product ideas, he lost his mind repeating”oh my God”, “oh my God” ( a light bulb turned on!) on a business idea. The 2003 jail story and a taxi drivers bank ID theft was used together as a marketing idea. A Phoenix New Times reporter was standing outside the cab in March 2005 when a 1% handshake deal on all “Liflock” profits was discussed mutually between “Jimmie” and Mr. Maynard as he exited the vehicle on Mill Ave in Tempe, down the street from the now, new offices of LL. I’d say be careful with the company, as the thing the taxi driver got was “LL” idea theft, no recognition or $$ for the product ideas in 9 years…

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