Identity theft is big business for criminals with the fake death type becoming the fastest growing method for scam artists carrying out fraud schemes.
This is probably one of the hardest and sickest crimes to commit where a distraught family is trying to deal with the loss of a loved one only to have emotions and additional stress caused when they are informed of a criminal’s actions of stealing the identity.
How Does the Faking the Dead Scam Work?
The fraudsters will look through the death notices in a newspaper and then apply for a birth certificate in the name of the deceased person. In the UK birth certificates contain no details of whether the person is alive or dead.
Having this piece of paper is enough to allow them to collect more information on the deceased person. The criminal will be able to then find out their address pretty easily and from there they will be able to obtain other identity proving documents such as a driving license and a national insurance number. From here criminals can start a fraud scheme as they have enough information to apply for credit cards and personal loans.
Criminals go for the identities of deceased people because it will take longer for their crime to be discovered giving them longer to run the scam and make more money. Secondly older people have grown being taught to look after their money, not borrowing beyond their means or often not at all and making all their payments on time meaning their credit histories will be spotless.
Criminals will often visit the deceased persons home once its put up for sale as often the mail is left lying which can be easily be swiped, prolonging their fraud scheme campaign.
How to avoid this scheme
First of don’t put a death notice in the newspaper – avoiding that initial interest from criminals.
Inform the local authorities and credit reference agencies of the death. This will stop them registering on the electoral role and stop credit cards and personal loan applications from being approved.
If the home of the deceased is going to be sold make sure all personal information is kept under lock. Shred any personally identifiable mail and set up a re-direct at the post office so you can intercept any mail and deal with appropriately.
Finally keep in mind the dangers of identity theft; it doesn’t take much for criminals to set up a fraud scheme with a birth certificate providing enough to give them a start. It’s worth ordering a copy of the credit file around six months later to make sure there has been no activity. If you have a business I’d recommended attending the next fraud scheme related seminar like the Marcus evans scheme conferences.
|Kim is an expert author who enjoys writing articles on various business related topics. Marcus evans scheme|