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Sysoon Acknowledges that the SSDI Helps Prevent Tax Fraud

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I'm a little excited today because in doing some genealogical research I came across a site that provides a portion of the Social Security number (SSN) of individuals. I am glad that not all websites have had a knee jerk reaction and simply redacted these numbers because it is essential that we have access to them in order to PREVENT identity fraud. The owners of the site, called Sysoon, took the time to put a link underneath the SSN which says, "Why we show it," and here is what they say:

Identity Theft of the Deceased

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime worldwide!

How to Prevent Identity Theft of the Deceased?

Identity theft: It can happen to anyone, living or dead. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime worldwide. Your identity does not automatically die with you. Identity thieves used the name and Social Security number of someone who is dead to open thousands of new bank and credit card accounts. In the United states, Ninety days after someone dies, their Social Security number is public information.

Social security number of the deceased is public to prevent fraud

Given the growing problem of identity theft and the importance of the Social Security number as a personal identifier in the United States, it might seem unusual that these identifiers are released publicly. However, because the documents held by the Social Security Administration are government records, it is required to make the information public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and is used to prevent fraud so that no one can steal the identity of a dead person, and take out a credit card or a bank loan in a dead person's name.

Sysoon is online service provider to an international network of funeral homes that deliver high standards of service. They claim that their virtual cemetery project is the world's largest online memorial website.

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Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt is a Board-certified genealogist specializing in Massachusetts research. She has been taking clients for sixteen years and researches a variety of topics from Mayflower lineages to locating townlands of Irish immigrants. She is a case worker under contract to the US Army on repatriation cases, helping to locate family members of servicemen missing or killed in previous conflicts. She currently serves as a director at Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and editor of the FGS Voice Newsletter, and is past president of MGC. You can read her personal blog at http://pk-pollybog.blogspot.com.

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