Deceased People And Identity Theft? The Dead Are Victims!
Deceased people and identity theft has become a real and vicious crime.
This is absolutely, disgusting.
This crime of identity theft does not care if you are young or old, the only criteria for this crime is that you are deceased.
As you will be able to see, deceased people and identity theft is no joke!
Here is how this scam works;
An acquaintance I knew had suddenly lost her husband in an accident.
When she tried to settle his estate she found 35 new credit applications had been made in her husband’s name.
The amount of charges on these credit cards was unreal!
One of the thieves actually got away with charging up an obscene amount of items, but even had the audacity to buy a new car.
Over $20,000 had been charged to different accounts.
It is devastating enough to lose a loved one, but stealing
identity of the deceased and to ruin their credit history in the process
The deceased people and identity theft are bad enough to have to
deal with but, in the process, the whole family becomes the victim in
one way or another.
- Unfortunately, this is very easy for scammers to do and make you the victim.
Scammers scan through the obituaries for names and addresses
and then buy the personal data and Social Security numbers and credit
histories of the newly departed for as small an amount as $10-$15 on the
- In 2004, over 400,000 checking accounts were opened in a deceased person’s name.
Often the main goal is to open the credit card accounts in the names
of the dead.
- Deceased people and identity theft go hand in hand. After getting names of the deceased, the scammer will buy their Social Security number and account numbers.
Then they sell the information, many times with a fake ID card or drivers license that they create, and then charge people $800 that can’t purchase cars or they have bad credit, and proceed to open accounts in the names of the deceased.
- Car loans valued at $2.5 million were obtained in this manner.
When the scammer defaults on the loan, their debt appears on the credit histories of the deceased.
- The scammer could care less the grief he causes with his actions.
It is unlikely that surviving members in the family are going to be held liable for the debt, but they may still pay a price in money and time to unravel the bank records and credit of the their loved one...pointing out why preventing identity theft
is so key.
- Another way this scammer was found out about was the fact that
the wife went through not only his existing bills, but found new
accounts opened in his name that in other correspondence that had come
in the mail that she hadn’t seen as of the time her husband had passed.
- She contacted the 3 major credit bureaus and
alerted them to what was going on and found the majority of the credit
cards were mailed to a vacant house.
A scammer would come each day to collect the mail.
After much investigation, the main scammer and 55 others were arrested for purchasing the data of the deceased.
Deceased People and
Identity Theft Tips
- When you prepare an obituary for your loved one do Not include personal details such as the whole birth date, just use the year and don’t use addresses.
- If you list all your personal information, you not
only open yourself up for identity theft, but the thief will now have
access to where you live and can case your house, find out when you
won’t be there, and take off with everything you own.
You don’t need to add more grief to your life.
- Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles and
cancel the deceased’s driver’s license. This will prevent any
duplication from being issued.
- Make sure all 3 credit reporting bureaus have a copy
of the death certificate and all accounts with credit issuers are
cancelled right after the person dies.
- The 3 credit reporting bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
There are so many scams and different varieties of the same scams, that it is hard to keep track of all of them.
One of the best ways to avoid any specific scam is to take steps up front that help to prevent identity theft. This is why I've partnered with Identity Theft Deterrent.
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Make sure you get all the details on how you can specifically work through techniques and strategies that keep you safe from identity theft scams.
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Deceased people and identity theft shouldn't even be something you have to worry about happening, but it seems nothing is sacred. Protect yourself and loved ones from identity theft thieves.