New research shows the value of deceased data outweighs that of credit card information when it comes to identity fraud. The study investigates the purchase of various forms of personal information available for sale on the dark web and the medical records of deceased patients were found to fetch the highest price than any other type of data.

One advertisement advised that the vendor had 60,000 stolen medical records available for purchase all of which included name, birth date, address and telephone number. Some also included individual death dates. The death date commanded a premium of 0.000277 bitcoin per record equating to £1.73, on top of the price for the additional information.

Deceased identity fraud is increasingly becoming a problem. In the US AARP estimates that fraudsters attempt to steal the identity of 2.5 million deceased Americans annually in an attempt to open credit card accounts, apply for loans, commit tax fraud and obtain expensive mobile phones via carrier contracts. In the UK Cifas believes that deceased identity fraud is the fastest growing form of fraud due to the fact that typically it goes undetected for much longer than defrauding living people meaning it tends to be a more lucrative crime. This is why deceased data is commanding a premium price on the dark web. With information on deceased individuals now easily available the problem is just going to get worse and organisations that offer credit need to understand how to protect themselves against such crime using products such as Halo, which identifies if applications are being made in the name of someone that has known to have died.

For further information on decease identity fraud please contact one of our specialists on 01274 53 88 21