If you don't want to be the victim of dead body pickpockets, you should make sure that your pockets and carrying bags are clear of any unnecessary personal documents. It is sometimes reported that a few first responders and passers-by have stolen items belonging to the dead person from the scene where a person has died. In one recent case, a coroner was apprehended and charged with stealing personal documents from a dead body and committing identity fraud.
Usually when someone suddenly dies and the police is called, the coroner's office sends a person to confirm the identity of the deceased and order an investigation if necessary. Depending on the cause of death, the dead body may be taken to the morgue for autopsy or the funeral home for burial preparation.
If the dead person is not accompanied by someone trustworthy and is alone or with the coroner, medical examiner, mortician or any other stranger which is often the case until some relatives or friends arrive, there is a slight risk that dead body pickpockets will target the belongings of the deceased at any time from the moment that the person dies.
The robbery of a dead person is not surprising considering that when opportunity, incentive and justification collide; identity theft and fraud sometimes become facts of life. One of the important lessons to learn from the possibility of a sudden death and the risk of robbery is not to carry unnecessary personal documents with us since we don't know when we're going to die. Another lesson to consider is the security of our cell phones and laptops that we carry. These devices often store very important information and therefore must be protected with the device’s available security mechanism whether it is a pass code or finger print access control.
The above considerations also apply while we're still alive because carrying unnecessary personal information and unprotected devices introduce the increased risk that they may get lost or stolen but the risk rises even higher when we become vulnerable as soon as we die until a relative arrives to pick up our stuff after we die. Now many people might say who cares what happens after we die but most us care about our relatives and wouldn't want to be a burden to our families after we die. What if the identity theft case affects the family of the deceased such as limited or no access to funds until the identity theft case is investigated and resolved? Is this something that any person would want for the loving family? Not really. We do all that we can to provide for our families while we’re alive and our love and concern for them doesn't stop after we die. Therefore, it is important to do what we can before we become victims of dead body pickpockets.