The other day I was watching TV… well, that’s not exactly true. I was playing games on the internet while the TV was on in the background. There was a commercial that caught my attention though. A guy was on a sidewalk talking to people about his company while a truck rolled by in the background with his social security number emblazoned on it. I’m not sure I’d be willing to do something that drastic. One of my student loans uses my SSN as my account number, and I have argued with them about it in the past. When I had to send my first check, they wanted my account number written in the memo field. After scouring all of my information, I finally placed a phone call. “What’s my account number?” The lady on the other end of the phone cheerily informed me, “Oh! It’s your social security number!” I quickly informed her that I would not be writing my SSN on my check, and she says to me, “But you have to!” Well, sweetheart, you better come up with a better option because I’m not going to compile all of my sensitive information in one tidy envelope for the first person that wants it! She eventually conceded that I would be fine if I simply made sure that I included the stub from my statement with my check.
Apparently, if I’d have had an account with the company from the commercial, I wouldn’t have had to worry about it quite so much. That company is Lifelock, and the CEO is so confident that their system works that he’s the one who published his SSN on the internet, on television, and on the side of a truck. That’s a lot of confidence. Obviously, I had to find out HOW they propose to keep his identity safe.
It costs $10 a month, and as soon as you sign up, Lifelock will request fraud alerts on your behalf within 24 hours. This IS something that you can do yourself, but fraud alerts only last 90 days at a time. Lifelock will do the work for you to make sure your fraud alerts are renewed every 90 days. This means that any time anyone applies for credit in your name, the creditor will have to call you and verify your identity. If you’ve requested the credit, no problem, the application goes through, but if it’s someone else, the transaction gets stopped immediately.
Lifelock will also take the steps to get you off of junkmail lists, and credit card pre-approval offers. So you’ll have less junk clogging up your mailbox, and reduce your risk of someone plucking your information out of your mailbox and opening new lines of credit. You’ll also get copies of your credit reports mailed to you every 12 months. AND if your wallet is ever lost or stolen, they’ll help you contact the right people to cancel and replace all of the cards in your wallet, everything except your personal pictures and cash. If your identity is used by someone other than you while you are a customer of Lifelock, they’ll spend up to one million dollars to make it right.
That all sounds great, but there is just one question left in my mind– how many times has the fraud alert been activated on CEO Todd Davis’ account since he started broadcasting his SSN because someone out there decided to “just see what would happen”?