Grief Resources

Learn more about stopping identity theft of someone who has recently passed.

Protecting Your Deceased Loved One From The Risk of Identity Theft

The grief of losing a loved one is a very tumultuous and heartbreaking experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, in the world that we live in, some people disregard this pain entirely and are willing to capitalize on the identity of the deceased. Frequently, individuals engage in such behaviour because they are trying to escape past convictions or outstanding debts. Even after your loved one dies, it is imperative to keep his or her identity safe to avoid the possibility of identity theft. Here are a few steps you can take to secure the identity of your loved one:

Never Disclose Sensitive Information

Thieves can be very crafty in how they conduct their crime and often use publicly known information from social media accounts to gain access to private knowledge. Contact the social media platforms and inform them that a user on their platform has passed away, and that should effectively lock their account or remove it.

Advise Financial Organizations / Government Organizations

The chances are that your loved one has ties with multiple corporations involving financial interactions, which can include banks, credit unions, insurance companies or investment companies, and they all must be notified about the passing of your loved one. Begin with giving them a phone call and make sure you send them proof of death. Ensure that you are keeping documentation about which organizations you’ve reached out to, the date on which you contacted them, and the representative with whom you were in contact. Other relevant documents such as drivers licenses, passports, or social insurance numbers should be handled with extreme caution. Inform government institutions about the death of your relative, and they should effectively make all existing documents null and void.

Routinely Check On Your Loved One’s Credit/ Bank Statements.

Often, identity theft of a deceased person can go unnoticed because there is nobody routinely checking his or her banking and credit statements. This form of theft, often referred to as “ghosting,” can occur for a year or longer before any indication of robbery has taken place. Therefore, it is imperative to check these statements for months after your loved one has passed, and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Stealing the identity of a dead person is a lucrative idea for thieves because they predict that not everyone has taken the necessary precaution to protect their identity from future attacks. When a loved one passes away, family members will try their best to secure all critical certificates and documents from falling into the wrong hands, but cannot guarantee that security. It is important to concern yourself with the protection of yourand your family's private information immediately to save you from dealing with this heinous crime.