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:
- Only carry essential documents with you. No need most of the time to carry your social security card or birth certificate.
- Be careful when giving out personal information over the phone.
- Shred sensitive information before throwing it away in the trash.
- Stay on top of your credit. Make sure your credit reports are accurate.
- 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:
- 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.
- Mail copies ASAP to banks, insurers and other financial firms requesting account closures or change of joint ownership.
- Report the death to the Social Security Administration and IRS. You can contact us to get the phone number if needed.
- In obituaries, don’t include the deceased’s birth date, place of birth, last address or job.