Iowa Attorney General, Tom Miller, is offering residents tips on how to protect a loved one’s identity from ghosting. He tells the story of two-year-old Tina Marie Brandon, who was killed in a Dallas, Texas accident in 1960. But it appeared she came back to life in 1990 when Deborah Lester falsified a birth certificate and used Tina’s name to get a Social Security Number. Lester used the little girl’s identity for 28 years to open bank and credit card accounts and to apply for government benefits. Scammers target the deceased to commit fraud in what is called “ghosting,” which generally occurs during the six-month window of time between a person’s death and the reporting of that death to the Social Security Administration, financial institutions and other agencies. If you have a loved one that recently passed, Miller suggests you limit the private information that is shared publicly, especially what is provided in obituaries. Keep access to important passwords within a small trusted group and delete or memorialize social media accounts. He suggests you obtain 10 copies of the death certificate for notifications and collect and retain other important documents, including the will, marriage and birth certificates, credit reports, insurance information, etc. Notify financial institutions, credit reporting agencies and government entities, including the Department of Transportation, as soon as possible. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has created a special page on their website “Steps Following the Death of a Loved One, which provides a checklist to help prevent identity theft. If you believe a loved one’s identity has been stolen, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.