Dead folks stirring in their graves as their identities get stolen: Study proves

April 24th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »
Credit card

Credit card frauds tracked by ID Analytics

As if stealing identities of living folks was not enough, ruthless ID thieves are breaking into data of dead people and stealing it! ID theft is becoming a common way of stealing personal data of people without them even knowing it. Hackers make use of malicious software to steal information from other people. Today’s post talks about the lurking dangers of ID theft. What is bizarre is that  this report shows that even dead people’s identities are getting stolen!

Survey by ID Analytics

For this particular study it scanned around 100 million applications. It compared social security numbers and other data with that of the data of Social Security Administration’s Death MAster file that tracks down identities of people who have died.

A recent survey undertaken by ID Analytics show that almost 2.5 million dead people become victims of data theft annually. Not many people are aware of identity theft. It is very important to bring more awareness into the field. ID Analytics tracks forms that people fill out during credit card registration. They check for fraudsters.

The firm has been studying fraud trends for a long time now.

What Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer at ID Analytics, had to say about the collected data

“This study brings to light a significant problem, as we see fraudsters intentionally using identities of the deceased at the rate of more than 2,000 per day,” Coggeshall said. “We have no sense of where criminals are getting the numbers, but a certain portion of them probably are coming from public sources, like the Death Master File,”.

What the study showed was that around 1.6 million applications are examples of a fraudster using a fake SSN that matches the SSN of a dead person. The study found out that there were approximately 800,000 instances per year where a deceased person’s identity is intentionally misused  and hundred thousand cases where a dying person’s identity is also misused.

What the study also found out was that seriously ill people are being targeted by criminals. There were approximately 2 million cases  of Social Security Numbers being used in credit applications where the SSN holder was terminally ill and about to die in the next couple of months.

More about ID Analytics

ID Analytics deals with consumer risk management with patented analytics, proven expertise, and real-time insight into consumer behavior. It combines proprietary data from the ID Network®–one of the nation’s largest networks of cross-industry behavioral data–with advanced science, ID Analytics provides information about identity risk and creditworthiness. A lot of U.S. companies and critical government agencies rely on ID Analytics to help make their risk-based decisions that help increase revenue, reduce fraud, drive cost savings, and protect consumers. ID Analytics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LifeLock, Inc. The website URL

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