Preventing Deceased Identity Theft
Compiled and designed by Mark Fullbright , Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist™ (CITRMS) as a free service for consumers to assist families with protecting the deceased from identity theft. Stay Safe, Stay Secure *Company names mentioned herein are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners and are for educational purposes only.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preventing Deceased Identity Theft
Suppressing credit files and notifying companies of the
deceased passing is protecting your loved ones identity from
crooks that will not hesitate to use it for financial and/or
Be aware of any credit activity and respond accordingly.
Being prepared will reduce the undue emotional stress of
dealing with Deceased Identity Theft.
If necessary consult a licensed estate attorney – Even if you
decide not to hire one
OBTAIN COPIES OF
These can be obtained for a nominal fee from the funeral
home ,hospice or from The Centers for Disease Control and
You will need multiple copies
• Only send original copies to financial accounts, send photo
copies to other creditors if possible.
Keep a detailed list of each company or creditor that you
provide a Death Certificate
COMPANIES TO NOTIFY
Credit Card Insurance
Employers or Pension Insurance
Cancel the driver’s license or identification card on
Cancel disabled placards or license plates issued to the
Transfer Vehicle Registrations, if needed
Transfer vehicle ownership of titles, if needed
Museum / Entertainment
Professional Associations and Unions
Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Veterans’ organizations and clubs
Gas and Power Company
NOTIFY THE SOCIAL
To ensure the death is reported promptly, a family member
can make a report directly to an SSA representative by
calling SSA toll-free, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778),
between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday
The person who files the return must enter Deceased, the
deceased taxpayer's name, and the date of death across the top
of the return.
The surviving spouse or personal representative should
promptly notify all payers of income, including financial
institutions, of the taxpayers.
This will ensure the proper reporting of income earned by the
taxpayer's estate or heirs. A deceased taxpayer's social security
number should not be used for tax years after the year of death,
except for estate tax return purposes.
Send (certified mail receipt required) a copy of death
certificate, and proof of executorship or marriage to each
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
P.O. Box 740260
Atlanta, GA 30374
Request that a statement of “Deceased. Do Not Issue Credit”
be placed on the deceased’s credit report.
List a phone number of either the surviving spouse or the
executor to be notified regarding any attempts for credit.
Request a copy of the deceased’s credit report to determine
what credit accounts are reported as still open.
• The credit report should also list the addresses of the creditors.
In the request for the credit report, include the following
information on the deceased:
• Social Security Number
• Last address
• Date of birth
• Date of death
If the Deceased’s residence is unoccupied, have their mail
held at the post office or make sure to retrieve it periodically.
Instead of contacting the businesses individually, you may
complete a forwarding address request at your local post
Access USPS.com to stop junk mail addressed to the
Destroy identification and unnecessary documents.
If you dispose of the Deceased’s identification and other
sensitive materials, make sure to destroy them, not just
throw them out or recycle them. Shred it!
If you plan to keep them, store them safely.
• Expired Drivers Licenses
• Military ID’s
• Marriage Licenses
• Property Titles and records
• Birth Certificates
If you plan to dispose of the Deceased’s computer, make
sure to destroy the hard drive first because hard drives are
never fully erased.
If you’re gifting the computer, it’s better to destroy the
current hard drive and replace it with a new one.
Remove the SIM Card from Smart Phone, restore to factory
The information on this list is updated and sent to DMA
member companies each month—and they are required to
honor it—so you should see a decrease in mail from these
companies within three months.
This information is also provided to some companies that
aren't DMA members.
So most marketers have the opportunity to remove the
deceased individual's name from their mailing lists.
Deceased Do Not Contact Registration
If you were a co-signer or had a joint account with
the deceased, you must notify the Bank or other
Financial Institutions of the death.
For joint accounts “with the right of survivorship”
the survivor owns all of the money in the account,
but you still must notify the bank of the death.
Request Banks or Credit Unions to look for:
• Checking accounts
• Saving accounts
• List of safe deposit boxes, where to find keys, and
names of authorized users
If you find identity theft has occurred, begin with the
• File a police report
• Provide evidence of the fraud, like a collection notice, other
bills or a credit report
Notify the creditor by certified mail
• If fraud is being committed against a deceased person
• Request “Letters of Clearance” for the fraudulent debt
• Only include a copy of the death certificate, if requested
Include minimal information in the obituary. Giving out too
much information, including exact birth date, middle names
and maiden names, can make it easier for thieves to
impersonate the Deceased.
A good rule would be to have the obituary ‘draft’ reviewed by
a family member or close friend to help with not providing to
much personal information.
It may be difficult to remove PII once it’s placed on the
DOCUMENT CHECK LIST
Creditor Account / Reference
Contact Number Mailing Address
Debts and Deceased Relatives
Shopping for Funeral Services
COMPANY NAMES MENTIONED HEREIN ARE THE PROPERTY OF, AND MAY BE
TRADEMARKS OF, THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS AND ARE FOR EDUCATIONAL
COMPILED AND DESIGNED BY MARK FULLBRIGHT , CERTIFIED
IDENTITY THEFT RISK MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST™ (CITRMS) AS A
FREE SERVICE FOR CONSUMERS TO ASSIST FAMILIES WITH
PROTECTING THE DECEASED FROM IDENTITY THEFT.
STAY SAFE, STAY SECURE