There is no more despicable crime in America than that of deceased people and identity theft.
But it happens - and on a much greater occurrence than what people are aware of. A crook would much prefer to steal the identity of deceased people than living persons.
And so often the information the criminal needs is presented to him in the obituary.
Have a look at the obituaries in your newspaper.
In many instances you can learn the date of birth to the deceased, their address and their mother's maiden name.
Think how this information helps the thief steal the identity of your deceased loved one.
Don't include details such as day and month of birth or address in the obituary. Use only the year.
Aside from preventing identity theft, you don't want thieves to visit the house, helping themselves while you're interring a loved one.
Many times because family members are grieving, they put off notifying the proper authorities.
However, it is important to promptly notify the Social Security Administration of the death at 800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days.
Mail copies of the death certificate to all three credit-reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and all credit issuers to cancel accounts right after the person dies.
By following these steps along with any other steps required by the institutions or your legal counsel, you will be better prepared to prevent any identity theft thief from abusing the good name of your departed loved ones.