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Zombies Debtors

Zombies Debtors

According to ID Analytics study released on 23 April, 2012 nearly 800,000 deceased Americans each year have their identity stolen by thieves looking for financial or other gain. The identities of nearly 2.5 million deceased Americans are used each year, of those, the identities of 800,000 deceased Americans are used to apply for credit or acquire cell phone service. That means more than 2,000 identities of dead Americans are used each day — mainly to apply for financial services. Additionally, several hundred thousand potential misuses of identities of gravely ill Americans also occur each year.

Hello, Due Diligence!  As has been discussed many times before; Question: Do financial services firms really want to perform authentic due diligence?  Answer: If you are granting authentic credit to dead people, then you deserve the authentic loss.

Part of the study scrubbed the DMF, the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File, against 6.8 million applications for credit.  Even adjusting for the SSN typos – this identifies a stunning number of clueless lenders.   ID Analytics is in the business of selling solutions – got it.  However, this many applications being submitted for dead people is absolutely mind-boggling – that means the applications got through the scrubbing and were submitted!

This tells us a few things:

1) It works – otherwise why would a criminal go to the effort to do something that did not work?

2) Lenders need to learn to screen their applicant’s first (before issuing the credit) and for a variety of other valid purposes – can we say OFAC.

3) This represents the significant need of the industry to radically and intentionally improve the processes involved in gathering, assessing and processing information within financial institutions; and

4) this represents a major security problem for the US.

The DMF is a public document available under the Freedom of Information Act. Monthly and weekly updates are provided on a subscription basis by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The DMF should be used by financial institutions, credit firms and government agencies to match records and prevent identity fraud. The DMF contains the name, birthday and social security number of more than 85 million deceased Americans and is created from social security payment records.

How easy is it to get access to this list directly or subscribe to services that resell the information?  How about free access at genealogybank.com or for a small fee at Ancestory.com – no kidding there is even an app for it! (actually several…)

Being referred to a client by a bokor is not the same as a broker.  Zombification is a valid reason to deny credit.  Thus please use you noodle and the free information that is available to avoid “zombie clients”.

For actual collection of debt that is owed by zombified debtor seek a powerful sangoma for the application of the appropriate remedy to recover and return the debtor to this world.  Once the debtor is back in this world seek a return through application of the appropriate recovery remedies.

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