Protect Your Loved Ones Identities... Even after They Are Gone
Safeguarding Your Financial Information and Identity
Protect Your Loved Ones Identities… Even after They Are Gone
Some identity thieves focus almost exclusively on stealing the identities of the deceased, since the likelihood of detection is lower. Identity thieves can run up charges on existing accounts, open new lines of credit, steal funds from investment accounts, get access to health care and prescription medicines, and even apply for government benefits under the deceased's name.
To protect your loved one's personal information and assets:
- Immediately notify banks and creditors by providing copies of the death certificate.
- Close the deceased's individual accounts. You may also be asked to close any joint accounts to help reduce the possibility of identity theft.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) and ask that credit reports be flagged as "Deceased: Do Not Issue Credit."
- Notify the Social Security Administration directly of the death. While funeral homes typically report deaths to the Social Security Administration, do not assume they will do so in a timely fashion.