NU Online News Service, Nov. 20, 11:19 a.m. – The Financial Services Coordinating Council, Washington, says the federal government could increase national security and protect financial services companies from fraud by doing a better job of publishing the Social Security numbers of U.S. residents who have died.
The council is recommending that the government or a vendor set up a frequently updated, centralized, searchable, affordable death database.
John Dugan, a council lobbyist, recommended the changes in Washington at a recent hearing on identity theft organized by two subcommittees of the House Financial Services Committee.
Members of the subcommittees want to keep terrorists and other criminals from stealing the Social Security numbers and identities of law-abiding Americans.
The Social Security Administration now updates its list of deaths, the Death Master File, once a month.
Insurers and other financial services companies use information from the DMF to verify Social Security numbers, to detect applicants who are trying to use stolen identities, and to detect fraudulent transactions based on confusion about whether customers are alive or dead, Dugan.