ITRC Solution 7 – Fraudulent Use of Deceased’s Identity
If you are a surviving spouse, or the executor of the estate, you can request a copy of the decedent's credit report. The credit reporting agencies will require you to send supporting documents to prove your status.
- Request a copy of the decedent’s credit report – refer to ITRC Letter Form 117-1.
- Place a "deceased alert" on the report.
- Notify the police in the decedent's jurisdiction if you have evidence of fraud (collection notice, bills, credit report). A suspicion (especially of identity theft by a family member) is best when backed with concrete evidence.
- Notify any creditor, collection agency, credit issuer, utility company that the person is deceased and date of death – refer to ITRC Letter Form 117-2 – Deceased Affidavit of Fact. Be sure to include a copy of the death certificate. Request an immediate investigation and that they contact you with the results of the investigation. Insist on letters of clearance, which you should keep with the other estate papers.
- In the event that the thief is a family member or relative, if the family is unable to decide on a course of action, it may be best to seek the advice of an attorney that specializes in estate or family law.
ITRC Solution 2 – Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) Contact Information
ITRC Solution 10 – Filing a Police Report
ITRC Solution 16 – Protecting Deceased’s Identity
ITRC Fact Sheet 117 - Identity Theft and the Deceased: Prevention and Victim Tips
This Solution should not be used in lieu of legal advice. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individual victims or their own use, should be directed to ITRC@idtheftcenter.org .
Copyright 2010, Identity Theft Resource Center ®, Created by the ITRC staff