Social Security

Feds Peddling Dead People's Social Security Numbers

Make up your fake identities while you can


When you think of identity theft, chances are you don't think your government is part of the problem.

But it is and thieves know it and exploit it.

This week a Massachusetts congressman will file legislation that will help stop the government from giving away personal information.

"We will close that loop hole. We will absolutely make it unavailable to the general public," Congressman Mike Capuano told WBZ-TV.

He is talking about dead people's Social Security numbers.

Right now, believe it or not, they are for sale for as little as $10 on a U.S. government web site. It is known as the Death Master File or DMF.  The original idea was this site would help cut down on identity theft.

NEXT: Court Told the IRS Inflates Cost of Ending Licensing Scheme

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  1. Well, it is very difficult to comment on it but whatever is this personal identity must be very much confidential and it should not be exposed publicly.
    Certified Financial Advisor

  2. The Death Master File prevents identity theft because bankers routinely check against the latest edition. It’s the IRS that’s the problem, they don’t check SS# against the file and send free money without even checking W-2’s against what the employer filed, and don’t check SS# against Death Master File. The best system would be for Congress to authorize, under Article IV of the Constitution, a system for validating state death records on line. I don’t need to know your baby had AIDS and therefore the mother presumably did, too, or the street address of the baby and therefore of the parents, but the death needs to be public so anybody can block the use of the ID, and needs to be correctable when a corpse is misidentified.

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