Government Website Gives Personal Information of Dead People

By  | 

Personal information of your loved ones who have passed away is on the internet and it's on a government website no less.

For $10-dollars, anyone can access the full name, social security number and other personal information of a dead person.
It's a database is known as the death master file.

"It does surprise me that there is so much out there and it's at the access of just a matter of clicking on the right button," said Dan Naranjo funeral director/owner of All Faiths Funeral Home in Grand Island.

The information comes from the social security administration itself and according to the freedom of information act, it's perfectly legal.

"If someone wants your information its out there," said Naranjo.

According to the Social Security Administration the file was created to help prevent identity theft, by using it as a cross reference, but thieves are using the file to get critical information commit fraud.

Like file tax returns using a false id, open new credit cards, and depending on the situation a living family member could have to combat the fraud charges.

"It is scary that it can be used for many different things. People could take your photo off of facebook and make a new account. The same idea goes for someone who has passed on," said Stephanie Crosby with Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home.

The government isn't alone in sharing this information. You can also find it on sites like

This website is free.

"I guess my advice to families that are going through the funeralization process is don't put more information out there than is really necessary," said Naranjo.

Freedom of information act lawsuits made the government website public. Lawmakers would need to pass a bill to put restrictions on the website.