Identity Theft of the Deceased
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime worldwide!
How to Prevent Identity Theft of the Deceased?
Identity theft: It can happen to anyone, living or dead. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime worldwide. Your identity does not automatically die with you. Identity thieves used the name and Social Security number of someone who is dead to open thousands of new bank and credit card accounts. In the United states, Ninety days after someone dies, their Social Security number is public information.
Social security number of the deceased is public to prevent fraud
Given the growing problem of identity theft and the importance of the Social Security number as a personal identifier in the United States, it might seem unusual that these identifiers are released publicly. However, because the documents held by the Social Security Administration are government records, it is required to make the information public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and is used to prevent fraud so that no one can steal the identity of a dead person, and take out a credit card or a bank loan in a dead person's name.