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Dying is easy

The upsides of death can be plentiful: your spouse can collect on your life insurance policy, you can get out from under debt and you can leave any legal or other financial troubles behind. The downside of death is pretty obvious: you're dead.

But WKMG of Orlando says technology makes it easier than ever to fake your own death -- or to file paperwork that makes it appear as if a loved one or personal enemy has perished. A computer security expert says the faking of deaths can be used to commit a number of different internet crimes, including insurance fraud and revenge on a foe.

The expert says anyone with sufficient knowledge of how the online system of recording deaths "can 'kill' another person...with the click of a mouse." Unfortunately for government agencies hoping to tamp down fraud, the system is not very complex, the expert says.

Physicians and funeral directors are the only people authorized to file records of deaths. But the hacking expert said it's easy to pose as either online. All that's needed in many cases is public information such as name, license number, contact information and other data from government websites. Then an online account is created for the doctor or director.

To file a record of a death, contact information is needed as well as the person's Social Security number. Of course, getting the Social Security number might well involve a crime and certainly filing a fraudulent death report is illegal. Those crimes might well be part of a scheme to commit insurance fraud, bank fraud and more.

If you stand accused of any of these offenses in Central Florida, three decades of effective legal representation is available to you with a phone call to the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A.

Attorney Horwitz is a former prosecutor with extensive experience in computer crime defense and fraud defense as well. Please see the Computer Crimes Attorneypage to learn more about how he can serve you.

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