- Immediately send death certificate copies by certified mail to the three main credit reporting bureaus. Request that a “deceased alert” be placed on the credit report.
- Mail copies as soon as possible to banks, insurers and other financial firms requesting account closure or change of joint ownership.
- Report the death to the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 and the IRS at 800-829-1040. Also notify the DMV.
- In obituaries, don’t include the deceased’s birth date, place of birth, last address or job.
- Starting a month after the death, check the departed’s credit report at annualcreditreport.com for suspicious activity.
Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling