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LifeLock Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 1.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

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I first heard about LifeLock on a radio advertisement with Todd Davis, the company's CEO giving out his social security number, the most confidential number any consumer could have. Davis claimed he had no fears giving out such sensitive number because he trusted LifeLock to protect him from identity theft.

Features and Benefits

LifeLock automatically orders your three free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com each year. This is helpful, especially since I always have trouble ordering my annual TransUnion report through annualcreditreport.com.

Automatic opt-out from pre-approved credit card offers prevents mail thieves and dumpster divers from getting credit cards in your name. It also reduces the amount of mail that you have to deal with.

LifeLock places fraud alerts on your credit report as long as you are enrolled. Though fraud alerts expire after 90 days, LifeLock continues to renew the fraud alerts. (Background: A judge recently ruled that LifeLock is not allowed to send fraud alert requests to Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, after Experian claimed the automatic requests cost the company money. LifeLock is still able to indirectly place a fraud alert on your Experian credit report since law requires any of the three credit bureaus to alert the other two bureaus of a consumer fraud alert.)

LifeLock’s other services include:
  • Help retrieving the contents of a lost or stolen wallet.
  • Change of address alerts to prevent mail identity theft.
  • Online patrolling to catch the sale of your personal information.
  • $1 million to offset the cost of identity theft if you become a victim while you’re enrolled in Lifelock and the theft is due to a defect or failure in their service.

Drawbacks

  • Fraud alerts complicate the credit approval process. Banks must go through an additional verification process to make sure you’re the one applying for credit, so instant approval becomes difficult. Using your cell phone number as the contact number will allow you to be contacted quicker.
  • You may be unable to access some online credit management services due to the fraud alert. For example, I couldn’t get my free credit score from CreditKarma.com because of the fraud alert.
  • LifeLock’s services are things you can do for free, with the exception of the $1 million guarantee. Ordering your annual credit reports, opting-out of pre-approved credit card offers, and placing a fraud alert on your credit report can all be for free. (See 10 Ways to Prevent, Detect, and Fight Identity Theft.)
  • You can’t monitor your credit throughout the year. LifeLock orders all three credit reports at once and you must go the remaining 11 months clueless about the state of your credit - or pay for a credit report.
LifeLock scandal? In 2007, The Phoenix New Times published a story about the origins of Lifelock and its founder’s (Robert Maynard, Jr.) shady past. Maynard allegedly uses a bogus identity theft story to promote LifeLock, but is suspected to have committed identity theft himself and to have used his credit repair company (which has been forced closed by the Feds) to take unauthorized debits from customers' accounts.

Cost, Signup, and Cancellation

LifeLock is either $10 per month or $110 per year, payable via credit card.

Enrolling in LifeLock is fairly simple. You can enroll online by submitting your personal information (name, address, social security number, etc.) and payment information. You also have the option of enrolling over the phone by calling 1-800-LIFELOCK (1-800-543-3562).

I believe any service that allows you to enroll online should also allow you to cancel online, but this isn’t true of LifeLock. Still, cancelling is a fairly simply process that involves calling customer service and letting them know you want to cancel your account.

Bottom Line

When compared to credit monitoring services, LifeLock is a better deal offering prevention services rather than simply post-identity theft alerts. For some people, paying $10 a month is a waste, but for people who won't remember to update fraud alerts or order their annual credit reports, $10 is just an ounce of prevention.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
, Member Jenny280

LifeLock is a sham of magnanimous proportions. It is such a shame to have all of the ‘radio personalities’ and the like lying to public so they can make quick money. I signed up for Lifelock about six months ago, and paid them religiously every month. I bought a new car about two months ago and I started thinking that LifeLock did NOT contact me ‘not one single time’ to report that: 1. There was an inquiry made about my credit 2. That my SSN was being used 3. That a car purchase was completed All of the things that they claimed would be done. So I called the LifeLock representative and was told that I may have to pay more money for that type of service…I mean I bought a car people…. I promptly canceled my account in the midst of the Rep explaining how useful their service is… Really?

6 out of 7 people found this helpful.

See all 3 reviews

LaToya Irby
About.com Credit / Debt Management

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