Can I prevent fraud against someone who is deceased?

Dear James,

I am acting as the executor of a recently deceased gentleman’s estate. What do I need to do in order to prevent fraud under his name?

Helen, Eccles

Dear Helen,

Please accept my condolences for your loss. I do understand your concerns because identity fraud is on the rise. Although ‘deceased fraud’ isn’t as common as other types, there are fraudsters who make a point of targeting the identities of deceased people.

A good place to start is by obtaining a copy of the gentleman’s credit report from all three main credit reference agencies (Experian, Equifax and Callcredit). When you get the reports, if you find any open accounts it’s wise to contact the relevant companies to ensure the accounts are properly closed down.

If for some reason you believe fraud is quite likely, for example because the gentleman’s identity may have been compromised, then you could apply for a ‘protective registration’ with fraud-prevention service Cifas, which is designed specifically to help reduce the risk of successful ID fraud.

Lastly, you might find our Bereavement or serious illness guide helpful. This includes details on how to order the credit report of someone who has passed away, which you’ll need to do by post. (November 2017)

James
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