Someone is attempting to use my deceased father’s SSN to open accounts in my name…

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Sorry for your loss. You (or your mother) can request his credit to be frozen/closed for all three credit bureaus. All three of them have articles online on how to do this. They may eventually get that info from Social Security but this is a bit faster. I have gotten things mixed with my mother (same name, different middle initial) and even with all legit activity, her authorized cards and her new address showed up on my credit report so I get that. If that ever happens, dispute the items on your report. Can’t speak to what to do for your own credit besides disputing.


Go down to your local Social Security office with a copy of his death certificate, and report him as deceased. Usually the funeral home will do this as part of their services but they don’t always. That will freeze just about everything because SSA maintains a Death Master File. Most financial institutions doing business in the US subscribe to it and as soon as your father’s SSN hits that list you should be set. >I’m a little concerned for my mother who is collecting his Social Security. She should not be doing this – she will need to collect what’s called survivors’ SS benefits instead. She can get into trouble if the SSA is sending checks intended for him, if that’s the case you need legal advice.


>I’m a little concerned for my mother who is collecting his Social Security. Is she collecting spouse’s (now widow’s) benefits under his record, or is she still getting his monthly benefits? If it’s spouse’s/widow’s benefits that is fine. **If not then she needs a lawyer asap**. She cannot touch any of his benefits, period.


The advice here about contacting the credit bureaus and having them freeze or close your late father’s credit is really solid. It sounds like the attempts to open lines of credit are being denied, which is great. Almost all domestic financial institutions do credit and/or debit checks. I know one of the common debit checks verifies if the ‘applicant’ is deceased. That’s almost certainly why they are being declined, so the system is working. The concern here is that a small number of financial institutions that are understaffed, very archaic, poorly-run, or just shady don’t do these kinds of automated checks. And once the fraudsters find one of those they could have a field day.