Sunday, January 15, 2017

Life Lock

A commercial on TV last night piqued my interest. Life Lock supposedly monitors your credit card use for illegitimate charges, but also actually helps you out if someone steals your identity. As much as I use my credit and debit cards, I figured it might be prudent to sign up for something like that. It's only $9.99 a month for their cheapest plan.

I was all set to sign up this morning but the wife walked in and complained Life Lock might well be a scam in itself, since you're giving them all the sensitive information about yourself. I'd thought of that, but it still seemed fairly legit. At her request, though, I tried to find some reviews of Life Lock from people that might have used them before. I tried Yelp but came up blank. Then I tried Google and came up with this site that seems pretty informative. They seem to think it's legit but question whether it's worth paying for. That's what I wanted to know.

They point out your chances of being a victim of identity theft are 1 in 15. They then go on to point out Life Lock has had its own share of trouble:

"Yet the company got in trouble about 5 years ago for deceptive advertising and having done, ironically enough, a poor job protecting the info they had on you. They entered into a settlement with the states and the feds and restitution followed.

 Recently, they reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that will see them pay up to $116 million in fines and penalties."

That doesn't look good. They point out you can also do a "credit freeze" which , "... will shut a criminal down cold when they try to apply for new lines of credit in your name." That sounds as if it could be useful. They also seem to recommend Credit Karma which also advertises on TV. I added their app to my cell phone some time ago but haven't used it yet. I think I'll go there now and see how that works and how lousy our credit is now.

Addendum: Just tried CreditKarma and it says my credit is excellent. Kinda strange, though, as they asked who I owed money to and the options I was given for answers weren't any business I was aware of.

Any of you had any experiences, good or bad, with these credit protection outfits?


At 1:17 PM, Blogger Rick Wentworth said...

i get NRA emails wanting me to sign up on life lock , havent yet and wont .
i did credit karma over a year ago and get updates every month on email . my score been excellent and above 800 but when they show all stuff that affects your score it shows i dont have enough accounts i spend money on so that one is very low .
they sent me an email last month saying they will do my taxes. both fed and state and e-file . i said no and it was for free .
they never did ask who i owed money to or who i had credit cards with . but they do show all those on a credit search

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I never understood their TV commercials about people always wanting to check their credit rating. I suppose it's nice to be able to check it now and then if you're really concerned, but I can't imagine wanting regular e-mail updates on my credit.

My guess is the people wanting regular updates are the deadbeats with bad credit.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I suppose it should come as no surprise that as soon as I posted the above comment, I received an e-mail telling me my credit had been changed, or some such, and not from CreditKarma. Some outfit called FreeScore. What have I just gotten myself into???

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Rick Wentworth said...

be careful fred
the nice places dont share your email

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard it said that your credit goes down in points every time your score is checked. Makes sense. The lower your score, the higher the interest rates they charge. Slick.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Credit scores are not affected by how often you check them. I could almost see them doing that because only someone with poor credit would be likely to check their score all the time.

But it's the actual numbers that count and they don't do it that way. They look at what you owe, or have owed, and how reliable you are in paying it back.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I might add that sometimes the numbers don't tell the whole story. When I bought the truck I own now, they ran both the wife's and my credit scores. Hers came out higher than mine because her car was taken into account. It was in her name, despite it being paid off equally by both of us, so she got the credit. The credit report just showed she bought a car and paid it off.


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