Avoid ID theft of deceased’s information - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Avoid ID theft of deceased’s information

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:46 am

Dear Debt Adviser: My father died in 2011, and my mother is the surviving spouse. There are no court papers showing her as the executrix — nothing but his will. Would that be sufficient to send along with the death certificate and information to have a “do not issue credit” flag put on his credit file? — Wanda

Dear Debt Adviser: How does a family member put a freeze on the credit reports of a dead parent or child so identity thieves cannot access their Social Security number? — Roger

Dear Wanda and Roger: Your questions are important ones that will be faced by many of us at one time or another. Typically, that time is one of high emotion and grief. Those left behind and in charge are usually busy. This kind of upheaval gives identity thieves the opportunity to take advantage of a temporary opening in the system and steal a dead person’s identity. As disgusting as it sounds, it happens every day.

It’s a wise move to place a credit freeze on a deceased family member’s credit file. And while finding the time to deal with a potential credit issue can easily be put on a back burner, it’s important to take a few simple steps sooner rather than later. A recent survey by ID Analytics revealed that each year the identities of nearly 2.5 million Americans who have died are used to apply for credit.

The Identity Theft Resource Center is a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping people avoid identity theft and how to deal with it once a theft takes place. They have a detailed guide at IDTheftCenter.org.

Start by requesting a copy of your family member’s credit report. A spouse or executor/executrix should request the credit reports. You will likely need to provide certified copies of the death certificate and proof that you are the executor. Each credit bureau has specific instructions about ordering reports of dead family members. Review the reports to make sure they do not contain any fraudulent accounts.

The bureaus will send you instructions for placing a notice on the credit file that the person is deceased, adding a security alert and/or adding a specific “don’t issue credit” statement. You will need to send most of the requests to the credit bureaus by mail. I suggest you send everything by certified mail with a return receipt for your records.

Should your deceased loved one turn out to be a victim of identity theft, notify the credit bureau and request the credit report be flagged with a fraud and deceased alert. Next, notify your local police department so it can issue a police report of the crime. Then notify the creditor or collector that the account is fraudulent, as your family member is dead. You will need to provide a copy of the death certificate. What can cause additional grief is if the identity thief involves a family member. As a family, you will need to determine what, if any, legal action to take.

Another issue survivors encounter is the myriad credit offer mailings that are sent out on a frequent basis. Credit bureaus automatically update records with periodic reports from the Social Security Administration. When the update is made, the deceased’s credit history will be flagged, and his or her name will be removed from any preapproved credit offer mailing lists.

• Steve Bucci, author of “Credit Management Kit for Dummies,” works with InCharge Debt Solutions, a nonprofit organization in Orlando, Fla. E-mail him at debtadviser(at)bankrate.com.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Legal marijuana heading for Arizona vote

PHOENIX - Advocates for legalizing marijuana in Arizona say they will file more than 260,000 petition signatures Thursday with the secretary o…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 10:39 pm @ http://www.12news.com/news/politics/legal-marijuan…

Sungevity set to go public in merger with Easterly

Technology solutions provider Sungevity and Easterly Acquisition Corp. have entered into a definitive merger agreement that will see Sungevity…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 9:07 pm @ http://www.pv-tech.org/news/sungevity-set-to-go-pu…

BREAKING: ISIS Terrorists Used Obama's 'Fast and Furious' Gun During Paris Attack!

On the evening of 13 November 2015, ISIS linked terrorists slaughtered 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris. The Islamists m…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 8:38 pm @ http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/06/breaking-i…

Pinal County Sheriff's Office

Pinal County Sheriff's Office is on Facebook.To connect with Pinal County Sheriff's Office, sign up for Facebook today.Sign UpLog In@PinalCoun…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 7:47 pm @ https://www.facebook.com/PinalCountySO/posts/10560…

The Chicken Scoop: an eatery completely focused on chicken salad to open in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - When it comes to chicken salad, how much of a fan are you? If you answered, “super fan,” than you’ll be quite interested in a…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 7:06 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-northeast-valley/…

Union Conducts Nationwide Anti-VHA Privatization Protests

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest labor union representing federal and District of Columbia government worke…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 6:36 pm @ http://prospect.org/blog/tapped/union-conducts-nat…

BREAKING: Guns Used in Paris Terrorist Attacks May Have Come from Phoenix, Arizona

Sources are reporting that the firearms used in the November terrorist attacks in Paris have been traced to an American gun owner in Phoenix, …

Published: June 29, 2016 - 6:37 pm @ http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/06/foghorn/b…

Couple on honeymoon narrowly survives Istanbul airport attack

Warning: Graphic images One minute they were winding down from their honeymoon and getting ready to board a plane back to the Big Apple — and …

Published: June 29, 2016 - 6:37 pm @ http://nypost.com/2016/06/29/couple-on-honeymoon-n…

Phoenix considers closing hiking trails due to extreme heat

PHOENIX (AP) — Extreme heat would close Phoenix hiking trails under a city proposal that follows a string of deaths. The City of Parks and Rec…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 6:16 pm @ http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/1674…

ADEQ extends high pollution advisory through Thursday, June 30

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has issued an ozone High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Maricopa County for Wednesday and…

Published: June 29, 2016 - 5:36 pm @ https://ein.az.gov/emergency-information/emergency…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…