Why Being Dead May Not Save You From Identity Theft

Individuals who steal other people’s identity in most cases do not let any obstacle come between them and their targets.

Not even death.

Such people often steal identities in order to either commit more serious criminal offences or to swindle the living.

identity theft can even affect the dead

identity theft can even affect the dead

Identity Theft And The Dead

Deceased people and identity theft has become quite rampant.

There are various ways identity thieves use to get information about the departed.

The most common way is by simply going through the obituaries which can either be accessed through the internet or the daily newspapers.

Other avenues include the genealogy websites or from death certificates.

The only information needed to help such a thief come up with a social security number, driving license, acquire new credit cards and even apply and get approved for loans is the deceased’s full name, residential address and birth date.

People who have lost their loved ones can take precautions to protect themselves against falling prey to such scams though.

To begin with, when writing an obituary, avoid including all the birth details of the deceased – you are better of only revealing the year of birth.

Fraud specialists agree that this is one of the best ways of protecting the deceased.

You should avoid using your wife’s maiden name when putting up her details due to the fact that several banks take the maiden name and have it as the password.

Be very careful to the amount of information you reveal since identity thieves can go as far as using your kids’ names to order new credit cards.

Although losing a loved one can be quite traumatizing, and takes sometime before a person can even think straight , it is crucial for the person left behind to get the death certificate and immediately proceed to tie up any lose ends.

This includes closing bank accounts and notifying credit card companies.

This will make it more difficult for identity thieves to successfully carry out their plans.

Get Professional Help

In such cases, lawyers or accountants can help out a lot through the kind of sound advice they give you in terms of how to go about closing the deceased’s bank account and open it up again with details of close surviving relatives.

You should forward the details of the deceased family member to all the fraud departments that deal with credit rating bureaus.

It is through these departments that banks and other financial institutions depend on when processing applications and supervision of social security numbers.

This crime is quite severe since it affects the lives of the close members of the deceased’s family in a big way.

Therefore do not overlook anything when it comes to protecting the identity of your loved one, even when they die.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mika Suomalainen and Mika Suomalainen, F-Secure. F-Secure said: Why Being Dead May Not Save You From Identity Theft http://su.pr/ADBCBQ via @Security_FAQs […]

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