According to fraud prevention specialists ID Analytics, every day some 2,220 deceased people (800,000 a year!) will have their identities pilfered by crooks.
These bozos will then fraudulently open credit card accounts, apply for loans and purchase endless services like cell phones and more — and lead a merry life, at least until caught.
Since it can easily take up to six months for financial institutions, credit reporting firms and the Social Security Administration to receive or register death records, there is plenty of time to pile up the charges. While the thieves can obtain personal information from funeral homes or hospitals, usually the crime starts by perusing the obituary notices.
Things to keep in mind when writing up your loved one’s obituary:
1. Do not include birth date, mother’s maiden name or various other personal information that could help the ID thieves. Also, skip the home address.
2. Use Certified Mail with Return Receipt to send copies of the death certificate to all the credit reporting bureaus, plus request a “Deceased Alert” be placed on the credit report. Also, mail death certificates to insurers, banks, brokerage and mortgage firms.
3. Report the death to Social Security by calling (800) 772-1213.
4. Take the time to get in contact with the state’s motor vehicle agency and cancel the deceased’s license.
Want more help in sealing off the unsavory? Visit www.idtheftcenter.org and type “deceased” in the search box.