You probably know that identity theft is a huge problem in the United States. It occurs when someone uses your name or Social Security number to obtain identity documents and then uses them for financial gain. But you may be surprised to learn that 25% of all identity thefts are of people who are deceased.
There are several ways to prevent identity theft and these are discussed in our book “Grave Robbers…How to Prevent Identity Theft of the Deceased.” The second edition of this book will be out shortly.
One way you can deter thieves is by not getting unsolicited applications for credit cards or insurance. If you’re like me, you get at least a few of these mailings every week. And what happens to these applications? If they come to your home, you quickly retrieve them from your mailbox and then shred them, probably nothing. But if they come to the home of someone who is deceased, they may sit in the mailbox for awhile, easy prey for an identity theft.
There’s one simple thing you can do. Go to OptOutPrescreen.com and opt out.
What does this mean? The consumer crediting reporting companies usually include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make offers. When you opt out, your name can longer be included which frees you from unsolicited mail and protects your identity. When you opt out on behalf of someone who is deceased, you are making it more difficult for an identity thief to steal their identity by applying for credit cards or insurance in their name.
It only takes a few seconds to do, costs nothing and will not only eliminate some of the unwanted mail you probably receive every day but will protect your identity as well.
For more information about identity theft as well as other end of life and after death issues, check out our website: diesmart.com.