ID theft allegations haunt founder of ID theft fraud protection service

ID theft allegations haunt founder of ID theft fraud protection service

Summary: This morning on the Howard Stern radio show, 'Baba Booey' came into the studio to help with a live commercial for Lifelock, an identity theft anti-fraud service that makes an eye-opening guarantee to its customers.After hearing the ad, I scribbled a note to check it out for a possible story down the road when I saw Wired's Kim Zetter pointing to an investigative piece by the Phoenix New Times on the troubling background of Robert J.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Security
3

This morning on the Howard Stern radio show, 'Baba Booey' came into the studio to help with a live commercial for Lifelock, an identity theft anti-fraud service that makes an eye-opening guarantee to its customers.

Robert MaynardAfter hearing the ad, I scribbled a note to check it out for a possible story down the road when I saw Wired's Kim Zetter pointing to an investigative piece by the Phoenix New Times on the troubling background of Robert J. Maynard, Jr.

It turns out, according to the article, that Lifelock was founded by a man facing allegations of, get this, identity theft.

The story is a sordid tale of bankruptcies, arrests, media manipulation and the fact that users essentially give up all their sensitive personal information to a company founded by a man who is accused of hijacking his father's identity to run up a debt.

The money quote:

American Express sued Maynard's father in 2005 for $154,000 in unpaid bills. But Dr. Robert J. Maynard Sr., a prominent local eye doctor, denied he ordered the card.

Records show that someone with Maynard Sr.'s personal information ordered the card. But that someone didn't have the bills sent to Maynard Sr.'s home. Instead, the bills went to a company called Netshield, at a Phoenix address used by one of Maynard Jr.'s former firms.

Though Maynard Sr. says he never asked for the card, he settled with the company. Coincidentally, Maynard Jr. has $170,000 in debt to American Express listed on his 2005 bankruptcy paperwork — and his father is named as a co-debtor. If Maynard Jr. ordered the card using his dad's data, without his dad's knowledge, that would make him — you got it — an identity thief.

Of course, his father could have lied to American Express. Perhaps, Dr. Maynard ordered the card for his son.

But that's not what Dr. Maynard tells New Times.

The elder Maynard says he's still in litigation on the matter and cannot fully comment. But asked whether Maynard Jr. used his dad's identity to obtain the card, Dr. Maynard, who says he hasn't spoken to his son in more than two years, replies, "I can't disagree with that."

Topic: Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • ID Theft allegations haunt

    This is indeed a sad story. It is very unfortunate that consumers would entrust their information to a third party, only to have to question themselves whether or not they have placed their trust in the right place.
    It is also odd that consumers would pay as much as $100 per year, for someone to place Fraud Alerts for them, when consumers can place Fraud Alerts on their own, for no cost.
    A website called http://www.creditlock.com offers substantial Identity Theft information and tools for free, including information on Fraud Alerts. Such website also offers a membership package for only $4.68 per year (39 cents per month), to include premium services such as Credit Freeze Kits, Fraud Alerts Reminders, Free Annual Credit Report Reminders, Cash Back offers and more. What's most important, it does not collect sensitive consumer information. Their philosophy was discussed in a detailed press release which can be found at http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/070430/0245703.html Such website also has a popular news and research service, discussing Identity Theft issues and related social and economic impact.
    Consumers really need to think very hard about the value they are deriving from an Identity Theft protection service company. They must also make sure that they are not asked to provide sensitive information which might jeopordize their security.
    Another source for Identity theft information is also the FTC website, and it does not cost anything.
    bmsbms
  • If it is too good to be true....

    As a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist from The Institute of Fraud Risk Management and a Director for PPLSI?.I?m not shocked at all. This is exactly what happened when we ?woke up one morning? to ?virus? problems. Everyone and their brother shouted?me too! Well, 95% of those ?me too?s? are gone. My company has been in the ?protection? business for 35 years and our business partner in ID Theft Protection (Kroll)?about the same amount of time. So, let?s review: do I want a company who just got here or do I want someone who has been doing this for a very long time? Oh?cost? $12.95 for both mom and dad?..amazing! Plus, we are the only company in North America to offer full restoration with our closed network of North American attorney?s. We restore our clients back to where they were?no 72 page manual to fill out, no unlimited faxing/calling/e-mailing! Wow?.it?s true?.and real! www.NowViewInfo.com
    mydps@...
  • RelyData is the answer

    Stories like this one about LifeLock or PrePaid legal's multi-state lawsuits demonstrate that reputation is the only think that matters. I chose RelyData (http://www..relydata.com/) for identity theft protection because they are the only company the credit bureaus recommend. The only one recommended because they work quickly and effectively to prevent identity theft and restore the records of victims with no victim effort. Everything else is sham, and that's a fact.
    pat_mitchell