In something the Daily Mail has dubbed faking the dead, identity thieves are using dead people's IDs to rack up credit. In the news story about an 86 year old widow (the archetypical Little Old Lady), the thieves "linked her death notice with her empty house, which had been put up for sale when Rosemary died in December 2004. The criminals called the local estate agent and made an appointment to view the pretty cottage. Once inside, they stole junk mail which had been piled up unopened in the kitchen, including an offer for a new credit card." The real shocker comes next: "There were an astonishing 70,000 similar cases in Britain last year affecting more than 16,000 families, it was disclosed last week by the UK's Fraud Avoidance Service (CIFAS)." CIFAS is a non-profit body set up by the UK credit card industry and 'dedicated to the prevention of financial crime'. Their identity fraud and identity theft pages have good advice to victims as well as hints to avoid becoming one.
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