SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against an online Calif. business that allegedly signed up thousands of Illinois consumers without their consent.
ID Lifeguards, Inc., and its owner, Arthur Natanyan of Burbank, Calif., are alleged to have deceived consumers responding to a sales offer for other products or services on a third party Web site into purchasing identity protection.
Between Sept. 2009-March, Madigan alleges, the defendants charged 5,071 Illinois consumers consumers $157,562 for unauthorized services on their phone bills.
"The defendants in this case claim to be in the business of identity protection, but in fact they're in the business of scamming people out of their hard-earned money," Madigan said.
ID Lifeguards, Madigan alleges, marketed its identity protection services on its own Web site and several Web sites that belonged to other companies that offered products and services unrelated to identity protection, including discount coupons and online contests.
When consumers would respond to offers from the third-party Web sites, Madigan alleges, they were automatically directed to a sign-up page owned by the defendants, which prompted them to provide personal information. When consumers completed the sign-up page, they unknowingly signed up for ID Lifeguards' purported services and then charged a monthly $12.95 fee, Madigan says.
Madigan's lawsuit asks the court to prohibit the defendants from engaging in the business of offering identity protection services in Illinois. The suit also seeks to restitution for consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000 per defendant and additional penalties of $50,000 for each acted committed with the intent to defraud.