Each year, thieves steal the identities of many deceased Americans. The information below provides a few tips to reduce the risk of having a deceased person’s identity stolen:
- Send the IRS a copy of the death certificate, this is used to flag the account to reflect that the person is deceased. The death certificate may be sent to the Campus where the decedent would normally file their tax return (for addresses see Where to File Paper Tax Returns). A copy of the death certificate may also be sent with the decedent's final tax return.
- Send copies of the death certificate to each credit reporting bureau asking them to put a “deceased alert” on the deceased’s credit report
- Review the deceased’s credit report for questionable credit card activity
- Avoid putting too much information in an obituary, such as birth date, address, mother’s maiden name or other personally identifying information that could be useful to identity thieves
More information to help you guard against identity theft is available at IRS.gov, enter ID Theft in the search box. More tips to help protect a deceased person’s identify can also be found on the IDTheftCenter.org website, type “deceased” in the search box.