It seems obvious now, but it never would have occurred to me that obituaries provide a ripe source of information for identity thieves. Obituaries contain personal information like maiden names, birth dates, addresses, etc., all information that identity thieves can use to quickly run up a bill on the deceased’s tab. (All you need to get credit information is name, address, and date of birth.)
How big is the problem?
â€œAbout 400,000 checking accounts were opened in the names of deceased people in 2004,â€ says Jay Foley of the Identity Theft Resource Center, a San Diego-based consumer advocacy group. But often the goal is to open credit accounts in the name of the dead.