How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft After a Loved One’s Death

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These days, people have access to all sorts of innovative gadgets and platforms, which will assist them to defraud victims out of money and personal facts. In the 2017 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, it was found that virtually 18. 4 million shoppers were targets of some kind of personality theft in 2016 alone.

Anyone can become a casualty of identity theft and extortion, but unfortunately, plainly of the most common targets these days are the deceased and their future of kin. This is especially true for widows and widowers. Should you have just recently lost your loved one, continue reading to learn some ways to shield yourself from identify theft and other similar types of violations.

Identify Theft and Obituaries

Obituaries are one of the first sites criminals will look to get the personal information they need to steal the deceased’s identity. It is possible for these thieves to get a person’s address, birthdate, maiden name, place of birth, next of kin companies, and much more identifying information. They can use this information to open various health care data, obtain credit, take out loans, and much more. They can even data taxes under the deceased’s name and collect an annual repayment.

For this reason, it is wise to limit the amount of personal information you send in your loved one’s obituary. Refrain from including sensitive facts, like birthdates, addresses, and maiden names. This information is extremely useful for criminals. Furthermore, be sure to submit your loved your death certificate to the proper financial organizations. This includes often the IRS, the DMV, banks, brokerages, credit card companies, mortgage corporations, and credit officialdoms like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Extortion Scams

Thieves won’t just stop at stealing the exact identity of the deceased, they will often go after the next of family member. A common scam used against the next of kin, mainly widows and widowers, is the debt collector con. This is when a criminal with a load of personal information about the deceased and their family contacts the next of kin claiming to be a debts collector. They demand that the next of kin fork out the deceased debts, and may even threaten legal action.

Oftentimes, instead of claiming there’s a debt, they will claim they have critical financial or legal documents, but will only release these individuals for a fee. Tips to avoid this: Never make installments or give personal information over the phone. Also, ask the very caller for details about themselves; this usually scares them at a distance. For instance, ask for a name and phone number, and then actually tell them you will call them back. This frequently works.

Gift of money Scams

Another common scam operated by thieves who all prey on the deceased’s next of kin is the gift of money scam. A criminal will pose as an insurance agent or lawyer, and claim that you are owed an insurance policy payout or even an inheritance. They will tell you that in order to receive the item, you will need to first pay the final premium payment or control fee. If this happens to you, be sure to ask the con artisan several details to catch them up and threaten them off the phone. If they are legitimate, they will have an company for you to visit and official paperwork to review.