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ID theft

All about how it happens and how you can keep it from happening to you.

What do you do if your deceased loved one falls victim to identity theft?

Identity thieves take advantage of their victims in many ways and, in most cases, those victims can and do fight back. But what if the victim is deceased?

As awful as this sounds, it is much more common than you think. It's apparently quite easy to track down the Social Security number of a deceased person and use it to commit fraud. So if you've lost a loved one and you're concerned about this happening, here are some things you can do.

First, request a copy of your family member's credit report. This should be one by a spouse or executor of the estate. You will have to provide copies of the death certificate and any documentation that shows you are the executor, if that is the case. Once you have the reports, review them carefully, checking for any fraudulent accounts. 

When you receive the reports, you should also receive from the credit bureaus instructions for placing a notice that the credit file belongs to a deceased party, as well as how to add a security alert or "don't issue credit" statement. If your loved one is a victim of identity theft, notify the corresponding credit bureau, and make these requests.

Published Jun 01 2012, 02:23 PM by IdentityTheft
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