Woman says identity thieves targeted her deceased mother

Posted at 9:24 PM, Jan 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-03 07:18:19-05

Helen Mathis meant the world to her daughter.

That's why Scarlette Grant was so hurt by her mother's death from heart failure in 2009.

Just as the family was starting to heal, papers from the IRS showed up at her mother's old nursing home two weeks ago.

Someone was using her dead mother's social security number to get thousands of dollars in tax returns.

“My mom is gone, let her rest, get a job, then you can file taxes. But don't put it in somebody's name that's not here anymore,” says Grant.

According to the IRS affidavit, it seems the identity thief has been filing tax returns with Mathis' social security number even before she died.

“Ever since 2006, nobody knew about it until now," says Grant. 

We lost count of all the lies on the return.

For starters, the thief lists Mathis’ address in East Orange, New Jersey.

“My mother never been to East Orange, New Jersey and neither have I,” says Grant.

They claimed she worked as a daycare provider and made $16,000 a year.

Grant says her mother never had a daycare.

They even said she was taking care of two grandchildren.

Finally, there was a claim that the 80-something-year-old filled all this out herself and it included a signature from beyond the grave.

Grant came forward because she doesn't want this to happen to anyone else.

Her mother was extra cautious of her information, so she never imagined they'd be in a situation like this.

“That's the scary part. I don't know how this person got all this information," says Grant.

Grant says IRS officials said they'll prosecute whoever did this.

She's praying the imposter will get a stiff penalty.

“The pain is gonna be there because she's gone, but this person needs to pay for what they did,” says Grant.