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12/8/2011 11:51:00 PM
ID thieves use Social Security numbers of deceased

U.S, Senator Bill Nelson sent a letter to several genealogy websites urging them to remove the Social Security numbers of deceased individuals from their websites.

The letter was joined by Senators Sherrod Brown, Durbin, and Stabenow.

Recent reports have shed light on the growing trend of identity thieves using the personal information of deceased individuals to file fraudulent tax returns.

Senator Nelson uncovered this problem earlier this year in a hearing he held on identity theft-related tax fraud, where a father explained how a thief stole his tax refund using the stolen identity of his departed daughter.

The findings that emerged from that hearing led Senator Nelson to introduce legislation (S.1534) to protect victims from this crime. Many Americans must file taxes for their loved ones who died in the past year if they file jointly, or if they claim them as dependents.

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