Fraudsters use Social Security numbers of dead people to get credit

SAN DIEGO, Ca. - We know all about ID theft and how to protect ourselves, but you think the threat ends when you pass away.  However, a new study says deceased Americans are at risk of having their personal information stolen and used to try and get credit.

A California company called ID Analytics compared the names of people used in millions of credit applications to people listed in the federal government's Social Security Death Master File.  They found ID theft of the dead in big numbers when it comes to attempts to get credit.

As part of an ABC2 News investigation back in October, we exposed how that Death Master File, which allows an opportunity for the publishing of the Social Security numbers of dead Americans, puts people at risk for theft after death.

The new study says the identities of 2.5 million deceased people are used each year to apply for credit.  ID Analytics research says of those, nearly 800,000 are deliberately used by a fraudster.  In hundreds of thousands of other situations, the scammers end up using the numbers of dead people after randomly choosing numbers to submit with their applications.      

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