LifeLock and TransUnion Make a Deal; Agree to Simplify Setting Fraud Alerts...

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You can bet there's a lot of  buzz over today's unexpected announcement that LifeLock, and TransUnion, one of the "big three" credit bureaus, have entered into an Agreement to collectively utilize TransUnion's automated system to help streamline LifeLock's process of placing fraud alerts, and opt outs, for their subscribers.

At first glance this Agreement would seem implausible, to say the least. However, with a second glance it makes perfect sense. If in fact their common goal is to thwart identity theft and their objectives are focused squarely on how best to protect consumers and creditors by reducing risk and loss from fraud, then sharing a secure automated system -is a logical and wise choice -but I can't help but wonder, how this latest news will affect Experian -and their lawsuit against LifeLock.

Be careful what you wish for -lest it come true!  

Experian filed a lawsuit against LifeLock earlier this year claiming the company was misusing the fraud alert system as laid out in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and in doing so was costing them money. In a nut shell, Experian wanted LifeLock to stop setting fraud alerts on behalf of consumers period!  But I don't think this latest Agreement between TransUnion and LifeLock is exactly what they were wishing for!

Experian, Equifax and TransUnion all place fraud alerts on consumer credit reports, on a daily basis. Consumers can request a fraud alert by calling one bureau who then shares the consumer's request with the other two bureaus. With fraud alerts in place, creditors, lenders, or other prospective users of your consumer report must take steps to verify your identity before they can issue new credit, increase credit lines, and obtain utilities, cell phones or new loans.

Ultimately, if TransUnion is now going to essentially "set" consumer fraud alerts on behalf of LifeLock and their subscribers -it would appear as though Experian's lawsuit may have run its course.  And you can be certain that this Agreement is not good news for Experian.

LifeLock came bursting on the scene a few years ago and since then has grown to become the leading identity theft protection company with well over a million subscribers who find their array of proactive services both of value and convenience when fighting against identity theft.

In addition to being proactive, they additionally take over the time-consuming process of dealing with banks and creditors to help consumers restore their name in the event an identity theft occurs. Among their services, such as scouring underground websites where our information is bought and sold, replacing lost or stolen wallet contents, one of the services that directly relates to utilizing TransUnion's proprietary service is the setting of fraud alerts and reactivating them, as the system call for, every 90 days.  

 LifeLock's proven desire to continue to find ways to deter identity thieves, form useful partnerships, pursue stronger consumer protection measures -and their continued efforts to educate the public, says a lot about their commitment to promote consumer protection.

I hope this unlikely and unexpected announcement of a joint venture between LifeLock and TransUnion will serve to remind others, including our government, that working together to circumvent problems -regardless of personal agendas or corporate profits, is the best way to become part of the solution, and not the problem. And it doesn't hurt to remember that Karma -is unavoidable!

For the full press release click here.

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