What retirees need to know about ID theft
When it comes to obits, less is more.
From birth dates and hometowns to relatives' names, obituaries are an information bonanza for identity thieves.
For example, using the birth and death dates gleaned from the announcement, a con man can get copies of a death certificate, which often contains the deceased person's Social Security number, says Foley. Then, for a short time, the thief can use the person's identity to apply for new credit cards and loans, run up bills and walk away.
Thwart the thieves: Instead of listing the birth date or birth year, just include the age at death. That makes it harder for criminals, says Foley. And consider leaving out specific mentions of the hometown or state, she says.