Author: Betsy Ehrenberg
In today’s increasingly connected world, identity theft has become a serious problem.
It is estimated that 17.6 million Americans are the victims of some form of identity theft every year. Of those attacks, 2.5 million happen to someone who is deceased. This means 2,200 deceased Americans will be deliberately targeted and have their identities stolen every single day. Another 1.6 million Americans will have their identities stolen by chance when fabricated Social Security numbers happen to match those belonging to deceased individuals. Identity thieves fraudulently apply for loans, drain bank accounts, acquire credit cards, and even establish cell phone plans, according to research conducted by ID Analytics. Identity theft is the 21st Century’s version of grave robbing.
When a loved one passes away, worrying about protecting their identity or erasing their electronic footprint isn’t usually a family’s top priority. On average, an American has over 150 locations where their electronic footprint resides—from credit card accounts to grocery store rewards. The electronic footprint is composed of electronic records and digital assets.