NAPLES, Fla.- A Naples woman says thieves stole her husband’s identity just days after he passed away.
“Most of the time they get the information from the obituaries. They will actually scour newspapers looking for obituaries so that way, they know that person’s identity is wide open to be used,” said security expert Carrie Kerskie.
The victim’s widow told police, thieves used her husband’s identity to rent cars from two different companies. The rental companies claimed the thieves had a copy of her late husband’s drivers license and debit card.
“The person was probably able to get a novelty ID, where you can for $15 go online and get a drivers license made up with anyone’s information on it. Or, they have their own printers and capabilities of doing it in house, just depending on the size of the criminal ring involved,” said Kerskie.
In order to prevent this from happening to your loved ones, Kerskie says “order at least 12 copies of the death certificate, ’cause you will need to send those out to various organizations,” including the IRS, your bank, credit card companies and credit bureaus.
Kerskie also recommends limiting the information you put in the obituary, “because if you’re putting on there places where your loved one worked, or what their profession was, you start listing family members, maiden names, you’re giving away a lot of security question details.”
Kerskie says when reporting a family member’s death to the credit bureau, you should get a copy of the credit report to help you keep an eye out for any fraud.