Identity Theft – Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones Who Died

Alarming Identity Theft Facts and Figures:

* Based on information provided by various sources, here is some alarming information we though our clients should be made aware of:

  • From 2006 – 2011 the Internal Revenue Service reported that  67,000 people born before June of 1901 had returns filed resulting in a $3 billion dollar loss using deceased peoples social security numbers.*
  • Data from 2012 – to current year indicates that 7% or about 15 million people age 16 or older were victims of identity theft. 85% of identity theft incidents involved the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank account information resulting in financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion dollars.*
  • 29% of victims spend more than 2 months of their time along with more money spent by them trying to correct this issue.*

Unfortunately, as the methods used to perform identity theft expand, every individual or business is vulnerable to attack.*

Suggestions provided from various sources that can help prevent Identity Theft from happening to you:

  1. IDtheftOnly carry essential documents with you. No need most of the time to carry your social security card or birth certificate.
  2. Be careful when giving out personal information over the phone.
  3. Shred sensitive information before throwing it away in the trash.
  4. Stay on top of your credit. Make sure your credit reports are accurate.
  5. Create stronger passwords or PIN numbers.

Suggestions provided from various sources that can help prevent Identity Theft from happening to a loved one who passed on:

  1. Immediately send death certificate copies by certified mail to the three main credit reporting bureaus requesting that a deceased alert be placed on the credit report.
  2. Mail copies ASAP to banks, insurers and other financial firms requesting account closures or change of joint ownership.
  3. Report the death to the Social Security Administration and IRS. You can contact us to get the phone number if needed.
  4. In obituaries, don’t include the deceased’s birth date, place of birth, last address or job.