IS YOUR LOVED ONE'S IDENTITY AT RISK?
March 11, 2016
When a person passes away, you assume they're safe from any wrongdoing, but you would be wrong. The number of identity theft cases against deceased individuals has grown substantially in the past few years. More family members are finding out their loved one's identity was stolen shortly after their death. While the estate won't be liable for the charges, it is a hassle that can still cost the family in the end.
HOW THIEVES STEAL DECEASED IDENTITIES
These identity thieves can get their information rather easily. Since obituaries go in-depth, often mother's maiden names, birth dates and addresses are listed right there for a thief to use. In addition, individuals can obtain this information from the Social Security Death Index and county records - since probate makes an estate open to the public.
WAYS TO AVOID IDENTITY THEFT
You can protect your loved one from identity theft even after they pass away. Do so by omitting pertinent information from their obituary. You don't need to list their address, date of birth or mother's maiden name. Still honor them, but honor them without giving away too many personal details.
Use the death certificate to notify all three credit reporting bureaus. Since they're not notified right away, they won't catch the fraud for months - sometimes years.