The attorneys at Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann, P.C. have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of three individuals against Vivint, Inc. The Utah based company sells home security and “smart home” products and services nationwide.
Our clients allege that Vivint employees and representatives used their names and credit profiles to open fourteen (14) accounts for other individuals who failed Vivint’s credit score requirements. They also allege that Vivint representatives forged their signatures or allowed other people to forge them on Vivint contracts. A simple review of these account contracts confirms our clients’ signatures were forged.
Our clients only discovered that they were on these Vivint home security contracts after being harassed by debt collectors demanding they pay thousands of dollars, or by noticing the Vivint accounts as derogatory marks on their credit reports. The debt collectors included Mountain Run Solutions, formerly known as Perfection Collections. Our clients were forced to deal with the consequences of this fraud for many months, by no fault of their own.
Vivint eventually reviewed the unauthorized contracts, agreed that their signatures were forged, and removed them from the 14 fraudulently opened accounts.
Through further investigation, PDH attorneys have discovered that our clients are far from the only victims of this scheme. Dozens of complaints have been filed by other individuals fighting with Vivint, debt collectors, and credit reporting agencies to remove these fraudulent accounts from their credit reports. The victims include both Vivint customers and people who had previously never even heard of Vivint. We believe that the number of people across the country that Vivint employees have included on Vivint accounts without authorization is in the thousands.
Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann, P.C. is investigating Vivint’s actions and failures to determine precisely how many people have been victims. Vivint maintains that the scheme described above is a “rare occurrence.” Vivint continues to deny that this rampant fraud has been occurring within its organization and refuses to audit its records to find which accounts are fraudulent to remove the people who added without authorization from those accounts.
To be eligible to finance a smart home security system from Vivint, a customer must have a minimum credit score. When a potential customer failed to meet the minimum credit score, we believe Vivint employees and sales representatives, incentivized by sales commissions, submitted other people’s names to pass the credit check.
If the unsuspecting person passed the credit check, Vivint would include that person as an account holder on the contract. These contracts can be for five or more years and exceed $4,000. When Vivint’s system installers went to install the systems for these fraudulent contracts, they were required to acquire the accountholder’s signatures. We believe the Vivint installers were either forging the signatures themselves or allowing others to do so. Since they are paid per installation, the installers would have lost money if they canceled the contracts instead.
We believe that Vivint’s corporate executives and managers failed to implement common sense safeguards to prevent its salespeople and installers from committing this identity theft and forgery. For example, this scheme would not have been possible if Vivint had a policy in place that required its installers to look at and document the photo ID of every person that signs a contract for a new Vivint account. However, Vivint did not have this policy in place.
Safeguards like these are not just common sense, federal law requires them. Under the “Red Flags Rule” in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies like Vivint “must develop and implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program (Program) that is designed to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in connection with the opening of a covered account.” The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for enforcing this rule.
In its most recent annual filing, Vivint reported that it had “received a civil investigative demand from the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) concerning potential violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and the “Red Flags Rule.”Our attorneys believe that Vivint’s corporate executives and managers knew that their employees were routinely creating fraudulent accounts using identity theft and forgery, yet chose to ignore it. As a result, thousands of innocent people have been harassed by debt collectors and their credit scores have suffered. This fraudulent debt is due solely to Vivint’s failure to enact proper security measures for preventing identity theft and forgery.
Our ongoing investigation has uncovered multiple fraudulent schemes and unethical sales tactics used by Vivint employees. If you suspect Vivint has created fraudulent accounts in your name, we urge you to immediately contact our law firm to discuss your legal rights at (205) 322-8880.
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