Basically these criminals scour the death notices in the newspaper and then they apply for a birth certificate in the same name of the person who has just died. Unfortunately in the UK there is no mention on a birth certificate as to whether the person is dead or alive.
Birth Certificate To Gain LoansOnce they get their hands on the birth certificate they can then go about collecting more data about this deceased individual. A criminal can easily find out the postal address and then it's really easy for them to obtain all sorts of other identity papers, for instance a national insurance number or a driving license. Once they have gathered all this data together they can then apply for all sorts of loans and credit cards.
The Dead Can't SpeakThe reason that the criminals target deceased folk is because their crime won't be noticed as quickly and therefore they'll be able to keep the scam going for longer and they'll be able to make more money. More often that not, the people who die are seniors. Seniors tend to have very good credit ratings because of the fact that they have been brought up to live within their means and not to take out loans and credit cards. Therefore they will have an unblemished history.
How To Prevent ThisSo what can you do to avoid this from happening? Well, if a loved one of yours dies, make sure that a death notice is not published in any newspaper. You will then need to tell the credit agencies and also the local authorities about the death. This will mean that if a criminal tries to take out a loan or credit card they will be declined. Personal details of the deceased should also be kept safe and any items to be discarded should be shredded if they have any personal details on it. Alternatively you can have the postal service redirect any mail to your home so that nothing is left lying about for a criminal to take.
It's very scary to think about what criminals can do in order to steal people's identities so be very aware of these things. Of course, this is much easier said than done when you are also trying to go through the grieving process.
Tags: theft, fraud, credit card, loan