Though it’s a grim topic, when it comes to identity theft, it is critical. The deceased are a major target for identity thieves, and we want to help minimize the vulnerability in our community. When someone dies they are placed on the deceased list by the Social Security Administration. The credit bureaus get updates occasionally and then update their data. There is still the possibility of identity theft as the databases slowly get updated. The dead person may also have been a victim before they died. So if you find yourself as the executor of an estate here are the steps you should take:
1) Get a credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). To do this you will need a death certificate and proof you are the executor. Check for any fraudulent activity when you get the reports.
2) You will also get instructions on placing a credit hold on their file. This will stop any new credit being issued before the database is updated.
3) The credit card offers should stop once everything is updated but after several months if they are still getting them then you should follow up to make sure they have the credit hold in place.
It’s all about being proactive—more challenging in times of suffering, but perhaps all the more important.
For more on identity theft precautions, visit www.hvshred.com