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Why the Deceased Still Need Document Shredding
Monsieur Thenardier, one of the villains in Victor Hugo’s musical, Les Misérables, was a career crook. He ruthlessly robbed the bodies of dead soldiers, taking their jewelry and even the gold from their teeth. He was a typical thief who had no respect, ethics, or boundaries.
January is Rough
During this month with the highest average number of deaths during the year, it’s a good time to remember that loved ones who have passed on will still need protecting from the Thenardiers of this world.
Death Doesn’t Protect You from Identity Theft
When someone passes away, their identity is—shockingly—still at risk of being stolen. Identity thieves will prey on the documents of the deceased as if it were priceless jewelry or gold fillings. Thieves find it easier to utilize the personal information of the dead to create identities and benefit from their credit rating, file fraudulent tax returns, and get Social Security benefits. If a living person isn’t watching, a lot of harm can be done, including theft of funds from the deceased’s estate and the creation of a legal nightmare for the grieving survivors.
Identity thieves will look anywhere and do anything for information including:
- Skimming obituaries
- Visit funeral homes, hospitals, and nursing homes.
- Attempt to obtain sensitive information from the Death Master File (DMF).
After a loved one passes away, consider following these simple suggestions to protect their identity:
- Limit the information published in the obituary
- Notify state agencies, credit bureaus, and financial institutions of the death
- Close social media accounts
- Shred all of the deceased’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII)—such as credit cards, driver’s license, and passport—before disposing of them
- Shred any hard drives or electronic devices containing personal information before disposal
- Shred banking statements, bills, and invoices before disposal
If you have lost a loved one, you know there is more than enough to think about, as well as a massive amount of work to do. The last thing you need is to be worried about protecting their identity from thieves. Partner with a reputable, professional shredding company for a one-time shredding project to keep your loved one’s sensitive information secure.
Records Management Center is here to help. We offer one-time shredding purges and a full suite of other shredding and records services. We’re happy to work with you no matter how large or small the project. Simply call us a 706-724-7982 and let us know how we can help. We provide shredding services to residents and businesses of every size in Augusta, Evans, Thomson, and Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, and the Central Savannah River Area.