Are the souls really resting in peace?

For every birth, there is death. It’s the law of universe that every life taking birth- some or the other day, becomes a victim of something- may be a disease or accident or any unusual consequences and loses life. But it’s strange – how can someone who is already dead, be a victim!

To a surprise it’s very much true… when it is thought that after a person’s death, only memories are left behind along with his identity (aka his legacy) … the same identity becomes  problem for the deceased. Which means, the dead are also not spared in this cruel world, which we have turned into !!

It so happens that when the family and loved ones are mourning for the death of the loved one and identity theft of the deceased is probably the last thing in their mind…. someone around is planning to take advantage of the death and play with the deceased’s identity. The financial as well as personal information of the deceased is at stake.

The complexity in identity theft is increasing day-by-day. Instead of money mules, thief opens bank accounts in the name of deceased and transfers the money made through bank frauds. The thief is interested in acquiring a dead person’s identity to avoid the risks that would occur if two living people used the same Social Security Number and other details which contribute to identity. Apart from an intention to open new bank accounts for many illegal activities, the other use of this theft can be for terrorism. A typical thief will use the stolen identity of a dead person whose physical description strongly resembles the living thief’s (also called Ghoster) appearance or ethnic background and claims for his own use an existing identity, listed already in government records – an identity that is dormant as its original possessor is dead. These ghosters take advantage of the fact that separate government agencies do not share a total exchange of information and can easily obtain a new passport or Social Security benefits in the name of a dead person.

To discourage identity theft through Phishing and other ways, there are a few simple things one can do and minimize the chances of the deceased fall prey.

First of all, get the Death Certificate and notify Credit Reporting Agencies. Also send official copies of the death certificate to all entities, which had financial relationship with the deceased. Inform the Social Security Administration and any pension issuer about it. Cancel the deceased’s driver’s license with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and notify the Direct Marketing Association to put the person’s name on the “deceased do not contact list.

Usually, the family of the deceased would wish to share the information about deceased in an obituary. But someone can easily take advantage of this emotional activity as the thieves easily scan the newspaper for potential victims. In case you plan to do so, make sure that avoid putting the deceased’s exact birth date, exact address and maiden name in the obituary to make things harder for an identity thief. Also, Phishing schemes саn be carried out in person or over the phone, and are delivered online through spam e-mail or pop-up windows.

If possible, secure all the personal and financial documents a person leaves behind including wallet, ID, bank statements, hospital records, old military records, etc which can have information that’s useful to criminals.

Hence, save the deceased from being a victim and let their soul rest in peace!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rohit
    May 25, 2011 @ 15:13:00

    Quite interesting. loved the beginning!

    but the fact is that no matter what you do, its really tough to save oneself from such hackers and identity thefts. It is very common. and when you say that the government is taking steps to eradicate it, dont forget that with the advancement in technology, things are not tough for these thieves also. they too are taking advantage of technology!


  2. Ashley Joseph
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 06:26:24

    poor souls


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