DMF Database Uses

Prevent Identity Fraud

By methodically running financial, credit, payment and other applications against the Limited Access Death Master File, the financial community, insurance companies, security firms and state and local governments are better able to identify and prevent identity fraud. The USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001), requires an effort to verify the identity of customers, including procedures to verify customer identity and maintaining records of information used to verify identity. A user may now access an online search application or maintain a raw data version of the file. The online service is updated weekly and the weekly and monthly updates are offered electronically via https, reducing handling and production time.

Verify Death

The Limited Access Death Master File, available as an online search application or as raw data files, is important for death verification. Medical researchers, hospitals, oncology programs all need to track former patients and study subjects. Investigative firms use the data to verify the death of persons, in the course of their investigations. Pension funds, insurance organizations, Federal, State and Local governments and others responsible for payments to recipients/retirees all need to know if they might be sending checks to deceased persons. Individuals may search for loved ones, or work toward growing their family trees. Professional and amateur genealogists can search for missing links.

Red Flags

Businesses that use consumer reports, under the new rules, must adopt a plan to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft. The plan must be approved by the company’s board of directors or senior management. The rules identity certain signals of actual or attempted identity theft, but each company is left to establish plans based upon a risk assessment of its own operations. Signals identified by the agencies as warranting increased alert include:

  • Consumers notation on a credit report such as a fraud alert, active duty alert, or credit freeze.
  • Unusual patterns in the consumers use of credit, such as a recent increase in inquiries or new credit accounts, changes in the use of credit, or accounts closed.
  • Suspicious documents that appear to be alerted, forged or reassembled. Or documents that include information that is inconsistent with the person applying for credit.
  • Suspicious Social Security number (SSN), for example an SSN that has not been issued or is listed on the Social Security Administration's Limited Access Death Master File. Another example would be one in which the SSN range does not match the date of birth or is the same SSN as provided by other persons opening an account.
  • Suspicious address or phone number as follows: (a) the address or phone number is known to have been furnished on fraudulent applications; (b) the address either does not exist or is that of a mail drop or prison; (c) the phone number is invalid or associated with a pager or answering service; or (d) the address or phone number is the same or similar to information submitted by other persons opening accounts.
  • Use of an account that has been inactive for a reasonably lengthy period of time.
  • Mail sent to the account holder is returned while transactions continue.
  • Notice from the account holder or law enforcement that identity theft has occurred.

Audit: Dead retirees insured

Syracuse paid for health coverage of six who died, state finds.

The city of Syracuse has been paying for health insurance for six dead retirees, according to a draft audit by the state Comptroller's Office.

One of the retirees died June 20, 2003, but the city continued to pay the former employee's health insurance until the comptroller uncovered the problem in September, according to the audit.

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