The majority of Veratad services include the "Target is Deceased" check as part of the base ruleset. This check is very important, as many fraudsters will attempt to create or gain access to an account using a deceased identity. That said, there can be cases when the target is not actually deceased. We would call this a "false positive". While it is impossible for us to ever be 100% certain whether or not a target is actually deceased or if it is a false positive case, below you will find some reasons why this result occurs. Hopefully, these reasons will give you a better understanding and potentially the tools to resolve the issue.
This can occur for a number of reasons:
- The target is actually deceased. The number one reason for a deceased return is because the target is actually deceased. So, please proceed with caution as you review a record with this result. Using a deceased identity is a high risk indication of fraud.
- There is some ambiguity with the records discovered. Imagine a son moving into his father's home after the father has passed away. Now imagine they have the same name. This can happen and can be the cause of a false positive deceased hit.
- There is a merged record. Sometimes with spouses or co-borrowers there can be some data that gets merged between files. So, if a spouse or co-borrow has deceased this date of death can turn up on the other's file.
- There is an error with the credit file and an erroneous date of death has been associated with the record.
Overall, there is nothing Veratad can do if cases 2 - 4 occur, as we are reliant upon the data we receive from sources.
What can I do when this result is returned?
Since ambiguity is the biggest cause of a false positive the best thing you can do is send more data about the target. For example, collect the SSN or last 4 of the SSN. By sending this (or any other data point) you may be able to break the "tie" and identify your target as someone that is not deceased.