Society

MILAM COUNTY T.R.I.A.D.

Identity theft doesn’t stop, even after death

I f you are older than Superman, then you are over 80. All of us grew up with this super hero.

In a 1966 story in Action comics, a Social Security number for Superman was published. It turned out to belong to man named Giobatta Baiocchi, who had died the previous year. Why Baiocchi’s number (092-09-6616) was picked is unknown. Baiocchi’s family does not know why either.

The idea of using Social Security number for deceased persons is being used everyday to steal identities. Sid Kirchheimer’s article “Dead Ringers” claims that each year, con artists use 2.5 million deceased Americans to open new accounts, apply for loans, cellphones and services.

It goes unnoticed for six months or more before relatives and friends become aware of the debt piling up. Of course, the departed would find these problems immediately, but the living does not think of such matters. This is a fact enjoyed by identity thieves.

According to ID Analytics, 800,000 of America’s departed are targeted a year. That computes to about 2,200 per day.

It is called “ghosting”. Social Security numbers are more public than is realized and sometimes crooks make up a number that works. T hey a re e xtra l ucky, i f the number belonged to someone deceased.

For $10 in the Internet you can illegally purchase Social Security numbers, or these crooks can browse obituaries for names, addresses, age, date of birth and death, and names of family for personal data of their victims.

Information comes from funeral homes, hospitals, nursing homes and public records, so be careful of the information you provide.

It is wise not to list mother’s maiden name, list age but not the actual birth date, or any information that could provide opportunities to the unlawful in obituaries.

Copies of one’s death certificate to the credit card companies, credit-reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and Transunion) request ing an “deceased alert” on the credit report.

The same should be done for all the deceased’s credit card companies, mortgage companies, and any other company that had an account for the deceased. Ask the company to place in bold: “Closed: Account Holder is Deceased.

Call 1-800-772-1213 to report a death to the Social Security Office and remember to notify the department of motor vehicles to cancel driver’s license.

It would disallow thieves from duplicating your loved ones license for illegal purposes.

This is not over yet. Let a few months go by, then check to see in any activity on the decease’s accounts.

Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to see if suspicious transactions are noticed. If none are found, then wait again and using another credit reporting company, check again.

The place to go for more tips on this subject is “idtheftcenter.org” fine the search window, then type “deceased” into the window

Buckholts and Milano have police chiefs, which adds two entities and hopefully two more members selected to serve on the MCT’s S.A.L.T. council.

We welcome chief Martin L. Jackson of Buckholts and Chief Colin Owen of Milano , to participate in all aspects of our organization.

When you see them, give them a warm welcome and tell them all about the benefits of having a Texas TRIAD unit in Milam County. Milam County was the 112th unit to sign the agreement with the Texas Office of the Attorney General. (OAG)

ted@myalpha1.net


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2013-07-18 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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