It's sad to think that even after aloved one dies, he can be the victim of identity theft. But unfortunately, it happens regularly. Below we've highlighted some important steps you can take to prevent identity theft of a deceased person:
- Do not include the person's birth date, last address or most recent job in his obituary.
- Consider having someone stay at the deceased's home during the visitation and funeral, to prevent a break-in or theft of documents with sensitive personal information.
- Send a copy of the death certificate to each of the credit reporting bureaus and ask each to add a "deceased alert," which will freeze the credit file.
Equifax:PO Box 740241,Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian:PO Box 9701,Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion:PO Box 2000,Chester, PA 19022
- About one month after death, review your loved one's credit report at AnnualCreditReport.comto ensure there is no suspicious activity. You may want to do this once a month for one year after the death since it takes that long for an account with a deceased notation to be removed from a credit report.
- Confirm that your funeral director has notified Social Security about the death of your loved one. You may also want to advise the IRS by calling 800-829-1040 to prevent someone from filing a tax return and claiming a refund in the named of the deceased.
Be sure to retain copies of any documentation you provide to these agencies, just in case a follow-up is needed.