Widow speaks out after husband's identity stolen
REGINA -- A Regina woman is speaking out after her late husband’s identity was stolen.
Fraud artists read Bob Harris' obituary and used the information to open bank accounts in his name.
“The police said that is pretty common these days,” Jacki Harris said.
Harris didn’t realize what was happening until bank cards started arriving at her home.
“It made me afraid, and I’ve never been afraid in my home before,” she said.
Harris contacted the bank and filled out numerous forms for credit agencies. What she didn't realize was the fraud artists were one step ahead of her.
They had redirected her late husband's mail to Calgary, and applied online for a credit card. They tracked up thousands of dollars in purchases. According to Harris, the scammers were able to take her husband's name and birth date from his obituary, and used someone else's Social Insurance Number.
As a result, police are warning against using personal information in obituaries.
“It’s a fine line to walk,” Les Parker with RPS said. “You want to share the story of somebody, however there are going to be people out there who will use this information in a malicious way.”
Jacki Harris is amazed at how easy it is to get scammed, at a time when families are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Police and credit agencies are investigating.