Stealing From Dead People

by JL Beeken on 1-18-2008

When all else fails, resort to stealing from dead people.

Some people have, it seems, never heard of genealogy and they have no idea why the Rootsweb Social Security Death Index is even online. They just see it as one more way to be violated.

Apparently, some other people spend their time impersonating dead people. They use SS numbers and birth dates from the index and other information gleaned from obituaries to create false IDs. The U.S. government does not keep up to speed with who’s living and who’s not. So the scammers are able to rack up millions in purchases that are then charged to the deceased.

Are you following this? So who pays in the end? Can the purchases be applied against the person’s estate if it hasn’t been settled yet? I didn’t know that dead people could accrue bad credit histories when they’re already, you know … dead, but apparently they can.

Can we kiss social security numbers and obits good-bye?

Read this: Grave Robbery

Here’s an interesting excerpt: “About 400,000 checking accounts were opened in the names of deceased people in 2004 …”

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