Identity Thieves Targeting Deceased To Steal Social Security Data

While identity theft is certainly a concern for many today, new numbers suggest that you can’t even manage to escape it after you die. Each year, millions of credit cards are issued to identity thieves who use personal information that belongs to dead people!

An ID Analytics study suggested that the names, birth dates, and social security numbers of 2.5 million deceased individuals are used on credit card applications every single year. In some cases, identity thieves actually make typos, which flags the Social Security Administration Death Master File.  In those kinds of cases, identity thieves are making up names and social security numbers, and so a partial match comes up from the file to alert authorities what’s happening.

Besides those cases where typos are made, there are 800,000 cases where identity thieves actually mine that file for information to use on credit card applications. The study also said thieves also use information from people who are dying, but their applications are filed before the people do die.

The results of the study were based on one-third of the credit card applications submitted over the course of a year, then extrapolated.


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