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Deceased Taxpayers – Protecting the Deceased’s Identity from ID Theft

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
  • 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, enter ID Theft in the search box. More tips to help protect a deceased person’s identify can also be found on the website, type “deceased” in the search box.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-Sep-2016