Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

The Folks Around Me . . .

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. . . are constant reminders that

going to church

doesn’t make you a Christian

anymore than standing in the kitchen

makes you a chef.

Crooks Steal From the Dead

Dead men may tell no tales but their obituaries can reveal volumes. Especially to thieves who study death notices to glean information they can use to pluck you clean.

It feels comforting to inform the world of the passing of a loved one and to include details of their life, including birthdate, address, hobbies, achievements, work and career highlights along with a list of surviving family members.

Scam artists gorge on this information. The more detail there is, the more steps you provide them to get closer to stealing your identity, the identity of the deceased, or both.

Listing the dead person’s age is okay, but don’t include their birthday. A death notice including the address of the deceased along the name of their surviving spouse along with other personal details provides a roadmap for scam artist to follow.

It’s been estimated that the identity of as many as 1 million dead people a year is co-opted by crooks who clean out existing accounts or obtain credit cards and apply for loans in the name of the deceased. Some scammers even file tax returns in the name of the dead to collect refunds.

Crooks also call survivors claiming the deceased must pay a debt they have. First of all, there is no legal obligation to pay any such a debt, unless you co-signed for it. So hang up. There’s also the fraudulent insurance scam: the caller claims the deceased took out a life insurance policy but before the benefits payment can be made there’s a final premium payment required for handling fees, taxes and whatever. Hang up.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 22, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Finance, Humor / Quote, Viewpoint

Tagged with ,

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