It’s bad enough when a child dies, but having their identity stolen months or years after their death can bring up the entire old trauma all over again. That is exactly what is happening to parents around the country in the wake of tax season as they discover that crooks and con artists have used their dead children’s’ identities to file fraudulent returns.
Thieves target children in particular who have died within 12 months of the current tax season because these deceased children can be claimed as dependents on the existing tax returns.
The information needed is fairly insecure, recounts one mother, describing how she “quickly found the data needed to co-opt her dead son’s identity” on the internet.
Once the information has been found and the refund issued, that money is gone and not available to taxpayers rightfully claiming it.
In today’s electronic age, it is important to do everything possible to make sure that your information and that of your family is secure. Here are three things to do quickly to ascertain if your social security number or other information is accessible online:
3 Easy Ways To Protect Your Identity
1.Search For Your Social Security Online
Type in your full name and the words “social security number.” You will be amazed at what comes up. You may find partial or entire social security numbers posted for yourself or for your namesakes.
2.Keep a Lid on Your Own Personal Information
The information on your Facebook page or other social networking profile is likely enough for a savvy crook to apply for a new social security card in your name. Keep your address, your maiden name, your mother’s maiden name, your full birth date, etc. as private as possible to make the process of obtaining your information difficult and discouraging.
3.Google Search Yourself
Do a search on yourself using married and maiden names. You may be surprised at the information you can put together. Remember, if you can do it, so can a thief, so do everything possible to limit your public accessibility.
Fight Against Identity Theft
Identity Theft is here to stay, that’s inevitable. However, there are solutions for those who have had an Identity theft challenge. Many of our credit cards and banks offer credit protection programs and credit monitoring for a small fee. Also there are companies like LegalShield and Kroll Background America that not only have the Legal aspect covered for you but also restitution when it comes to Identity theft. For you few bucks a month any of the above options would protect your entire family from identity theft and any legal issues.
“Worry Less and Live More”.