Notify credit bureaus

Notify all three national credit reporting agencies of the death.

This notification will flag the deceased's credit report as "Deceased - do not issue credit" which prevents fraud.

A copy of the death certificate and additional personal information of the deceased's will be required to complete these requests.

See the links below for further instructions from credit bureau about how to report a death.

Credit reports are not automatically closed, but you can contact these agencies to have a death notice placed on their report.

Helpful Tips

Taking on the identity of a deceased person, also known as ghosting, can happen months after the person passes away.

This kind of identity theft is often harder to track and might happen without the family knowing about it.

Sometimes criminals peruse obituaries and online memorials to learn more about the person, including personal details like names of surviving family members or pets.

Combined with addresses or other information, this can be used to get access to someone’s accounts and assume their identity.

Sometimes people will even go through the trash near a property where someone recently passed away to learn more about bank and other accounts.

When you notify the Social Security Administration about the deceased’s passing, this information is added to the social security death index.

The main purpose for storing information here is to help insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions, and government agencies to cross-check records when someone attempts to open a new account.

This information, however, could be used to steal the identity of the deceased.

It is the responsibility of the estate's executor or the deceased's surviving spouse to notify the Social Security Administration and other institutions as soon as possible about the deceased’s passing.

Actions to Take

Equifax Instructions

Experian Instructions

TransUnion Instructions