We buried Grandpa two years ago and now he's buying sushi in Toronto?
As you might have guessed, Grandpa wasn’t really enjoying a platter of California rolls. Instead, our dearly departed was yet another victim of identity theft, but in this case, his identity was stolen after he died.
It’s estimated that in 2016, over 15 million people lost about $16 billion dollars to identity theft. As for dear old Grandpa, he’s just one of 2.5 million deceased persons in North America who have their identities stolen each year.
So how does this happen, and what can we do to protect the integrity of the deceased?
Sometimes the cause is simply innocent fallout resulting from living in a digital era. All it takes is for an identity thief to be notified of a death to begin stealing an identity.
Online obituaries and memorials have become effective starting grounds for such efforts.
It’s almost incomprehensible to think that while funeral homes have embraced the digital culture by offering us online obituaries and online memorials; going as far as posting them on Facebook and Twitter – there’s someone else scouring that information for personal profit.
That being said, it might not surprise you who’s at the forefront of solutions which safeguard families from having to clean up and mitigate the damage associated with the identity theft of a beloved. That’s right, the funeral profession.
As with many things in life, and now death…”an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
We now have the ability to initiate a solution as part of the services we provide via Identity Theft Protection.
With Identity Theft Protection, we enter specific information about the deceased, at which point a comprehensive electronic process is set in motion by registering the information with specific agencies in Canada. Within one week, the family or executor receives confirmation that the deceased’s name and pertinent information has been received.
Although Identity Theft Protection is exclusively available at Bear Creek Funeral Home, we welcome and extend this service to all families in the Peace Region.