Costa Mesa, Calif. — Feb. 21, 2008 — Experian®, a global information services company, has filed suit against LifeLock, Inc. for allegedly placing fraud alerts illegally on credit files maintained by Experian. The suit also alleges that LifeLock’s activities constitute false and misleading advertising and fraud which have caused damage to both Experian and consumers and threaten to degrade the effectiveness of fraud alerts over time.
Experian’s complaint alleges that LifeLock is engaging in deceptive and fraudulent behavior by adding hundreds of thousands of fraud alerts every 90 days to Experian’s consumer credit database in a manner that was not intended by Congress when it implemented the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The complaint alleges that corporations are specifically prohibited from adding fraud alerts to consumer credit files and that LifeLock’s service uses consumers’ free yearly allocation of credit reports without adequate disclosure.
By law, initial fraud alerts are available for free to consumers who believe that fraud has occurred or is imminent and are temporary in nature expiring at the end of 90 days. Fraud alerts are visible to all credit grantors who access consumer files for the purpose of granting credit and require creditors to confirm the identity of the person making a request for credit.
Experian’s complaint alleges that the long-term effects of LifeLock adding four alerts per year for its 600,000 members to Experian’s database will degrade the effectiveness of legitimate fraud alerts over time. Credit grantors will lose the ability to distinguish between fraud alerts added by consumers who legitimately believe that identity theft is imminent and those added by LifeLock. Experian’s complaint alleges that credit grantors will have reason to doubt the credibility of all fraud alerts and their effectiveness for consumers legitimately impacted by fraud and identity theft will be severely compromised.
The complaint against LifeLock was filed by Experian in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Experian® is a global leader in providing information, analytical and marketing services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions. Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organizations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage. For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organizations from financial services, retail and catalog, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.
Experian Group Limited is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. It has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Nottingham, UK. Experian employs approximately 15,500 people in 36 countries worldwide, supporting clients in more than 65 countries. Annual sales are in excess of $3.8 billion.
For more information, visit the Group’s Web site on www.experiangroup.com.
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