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Protecting Your Loved One's Identity From Theft
Heaven Called is well aware of the growing problem of criminally minded individuals reading obituaries to steal the identities of the departed. For that reason, we offer the following important suggestions and steps you should take immediately to protect your loved one's name and reputation and to save yourself and other family members the time and trouble of unraveling any damage a criminal can do.

1. Notify the Social Security Administration of the death at (800) 772-1213 on normal business days. For the hearing impaired, call (800) 325-0778.

2. Notify your state department of motor vehicles to cancel any driver's license and prevent duplicates.

3. Notify the following three credit bureaus* and include a copy of the death certificate to each:

Equifax Office of Fraud Assistance
PO Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348

PO Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013

PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834

4. Notify each and every credit issuer* and include a copy of the death certificate to each. Tell them to cancel all accounts in the deceased's name.

5. A few weeks following the death, obtain a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus at Annual Credit Report to make sure there is no suspicious activity.

6. Do not include the deceased's actual birthday in the obituary, only the year.

7. Do not include specific addresses where the deceased resided in the obituary, only the city and state.

We hope this information is helpful.

* Sample letter to mail to the credit bureaus and credit issuers.
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