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Is LifeLock a Scam and Do You Need It?

By , March 6th, 2014 | 16 Comments »


With more and more news stories of credit card theft, people begin to look for ways to protect themselves. One company that they will likely come across in their search is Lifelock and many wonder, “Is Lifelock a scam?” The good news it that it’s not a scam in the literal sense. The bad news is that it probably doesn’t offer you all the protection that you think it does.

LifeLock is an anti-theft protection company designed to protect against identity theft and fraudulent charges to your credit services. The company provides a $1 million guarantee in the event of fraud or identity theft. There are various identity theft services that LifeLock provides, and while there are a number of people who have been happy with the company’s services, there are quite a few who have complaints about LifeLock’s policies and practices. Here are a few reasons why you don’t need LifeLock:

Their Guarantee Doesn’t Protect Against Direct Losses

While LifeLock pledges to spend $1 million to restore a customer’s identity after they’ve been a victim of identity theft, that guarantee doesn’t actually protect the customer against charges incurred. Nor does the guarantee promise to restore the money that was lost.


LifeLock charges $10 a month for their services, which comes out to a total of $120 for the year. While you may think that this is a reasonable price to pay to secure your identity from being stolen, many of the services that LifeLock promises are free of charge elsewhere. While it may take more of your personal time to call up credit companies to set up fraud alerts or opt out of credit card offers, it will save you from paying $10 a month for a third party to do the same thing.

Fraud Alerts

One of LifeLock’s practices is asking credit bureaus to put free fraud alerts on all your accounts so that both you and LifeLock will be notified of any fraudulent activity. Instead of having LifeLock, a third party, ask the credit bureaus to enact this on your behalf, you can place a fraud alert on your information yourself. You only have to notify one bureau, as they will notify the remaining two of the fraud alerts placed on your accounts.

Renewing Fraud Alerts

Fraud alerts expire after 90 days, and LifeLock claims that they’ll automatically renew your alerts once the 90 days are up. While it’s easy to have an automatic renewal for the fraud alerts on your accounts, it’s also pretty easy to just call up the credit bureaus and request another fraud alert. If you’re worried about forgetting to do so, just make a note on your calendar to remind you.

Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers

Almost everyone has experienced receiving tons of spam mail that include pre-approved credit card offers. While LifeLock claims that they will request that your name be removed from such junk mail offers, you can do this yourself. Just go to optoutprescreen and put in all your information instead of handing it over to LifeLock.

Credit Reports

LifeLock also says part of its services include ordering a free annual credit report for its users. However, you can order a free annual credit report from annual credit report, which works with the three approved credit bureaus, and may be able to get more free credit reports as well. It’s far safer to go through a legitimate, government approved credit bureau than a third party site.

Sneaky Advertising

While identity theft should always be a cause for concern, LifeLock’s practices are based more on the fear of identity theft rather than identity theft itself. The company’s marketing practices want you to believe that there’s a large chance that your identity will be stolen and that only they can prevent that. However, there are several steps you can take on your own to help prevent identity theft.

Disputing Fraudulent Charges

LifeLock also claims that while it won’t dispute the fraudulent charges you receive, it will help you cancel your credit cards and contact all your financial institutions. Instead of letting LifeLock help you contact your bank, do it yourself. Most financial institutions will forgive fraudulent charges if you notify them within 30 to 60 days. It may take a lot of time on the phone to replace everything and get those charges cleared up, but it’s better to have them taken care of entirely.

Billing Issues

Some people online have complained that after cancelling their subscription to LifeLock, the company has continued to charge them monthly fees. Many third party credit or financial organizations and businesses are often charged with this complaint, so it’s in your best interest to think very carefully about whether or not you want to deal with this type of problem.

Third Party

One of the biggest reasons why you don’t need LifeLock is that, in the end, it’s a third party business who will now have access to all your personal information. Most people know that they shouldn’t give out their social security number to third parties, as that’s one of the biggest targets for identity theft. LifeLock is a quick and easy solution, but you’re far better handling identity theft prevention yourself. There’s no need for a third party to have access to your information or to take steps that you could complete yourself.

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  • laurie66 says:

    From my own experience, you are the only one that can take the steps to prevent identity theft. You want to stop it before it happens, not after and all these companies don’t prevent it from happening.

    • Frank says:

      I don’t think they can absolutely prevent it from happening, they can just assist you (the consumer) with helping to make it harder to occur. Nothing is failproof, but the steps they take do help & go beyond what one can do without them.

    • mark2555 says:

      NO 1 CAN!!!!!!!!

  • John says:

    They also claim to offer 24/7/365 access to all 3 credit reports and scores… Is this true? And if so, is there another service which offers this cheaper?

    • Frank says:

      They give you updated scores from TransUnion every month & yearly from the other 2. This is what they state they’ll do as well.

  • mark2555 says:

    I have always known this for years!
    It’s always best to handle your own personal credit information!

    I heard that!
    The owner of lifelock on 1 of their own paid programs!
    Gave out his SSI number.
    It was to show people how safe his service is!
    And had his account was hacked 7 times!!!

    • Frank says:

      His social was used, however LifeLock was able to resolve all the issues. That is their claim. Nobody can completely stop identity theft, this is actually one of their claims as well. Lifelock does alert in most cases, there are just some instances that they are not able to alert of. But in those cases, that’s where they step in on your behalf & resolve the issues.

      • mark2555 says:

        Are you reading the same article I did?

        The main fact of the matter is this!

        Protecting ones personal ID!
        Is still the person’s responsibility!
        The $1,000,000 guarantee is still a sham!
        With the $10.00 a month!

        I can buy the BIG box @ McD”S!!!!
        Money better spent!!!!

  • sally says:

    If they could actually prevent identity theft, then I wouldn’t have an issue with it, but they CAN’T. That’s why it’s a scam. You pay for that protection and think you’re safe, but then your identity gets stolen and they are like, “oh sorry, our bad.” Here, we’ll try and help you now that it has been stolen.

  • bill says:

    They have always seemed like a pretty scam company to me. If I remember correctly, weren’t they forced to pay millions to the FTC for false advertising a few years back? If you have to make false statements to get people to buy your service, that pretty much sums up the type of company that you are in my opinion.

  • Ivan says:

    I think it is a well disguised scam. I was just trying to apply for the service, but noticed that under the “$1 Million Total Service Guarantee” there was a tiny note that said: “Network does not cover all transactions and scope my vary”. At that time a Lifelock representative offered to chat, so I decided to ask her “What transactions are excluded?”. To this, the representative just went in circles, repeating all the wonders they state in their letters. Upon my insistence, she finally said she did not have that information and that I should call Member Service Support to find out. How can someone offer a service, but refuse to provide the most basic information about its scope and exclusions?

  • Jennifer says:

    Our family of four subscribed to Lifelock for many years but cancelled finally as close to $40 a month was simply not worth it. Wish we had realized it sooner. As far as we knew, Lifelock was not doing much of anything. We never got annual credit reports or notifications from Life Lock that they were doing fraud alerts on those credit reports. I think we even opened an account of two at various stores and not a peep from Life Lock. Recently we had thousands put on our credit card (they were from us) but again, not a word from Life Lock. When I called about this they told me they cannot monitor credit card charges due to bank privacy laws. So in the end I figured out what good are they really?

  • Anonymous says:

    I Used to work for life lock. I’m here to tell you it’s a scam. They preach that they’re proactive but yet they can’t do anything till after ur identity is already stolen.their training is full of bs teaching you how to give customers the run around.they also fire and write up employees for takimg more than 5 minutes to help or look into the matter. then they tell you they’ll investigate it and get back to you. (That never happens)

  • pat says:

    When I first got it years ago and opened a credit card that was solicited in the store @ Meijer in Allen Park, MI – I got a phonecall while driving home from lifelock asking if I had opened a credit card, and was quite wowed – last year I bought a $12K used car on credit – no call, no nothing – I think they progressively reduce the service while maintaining price, attempting to entice you to pay more for an “ultimate plus” product…I’ll be moving to competitor until they do the same shenanigans…

  • Malcolm Dale says:

    I don’t know if it’s a scam or not but they send me an unsolicited email every week or so and every time I report it to yahoo as spam they say thank you and I still keep getting it.
    So even if it is worth getting I won’t get it as I do not support spammers.


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