Predators have preyed on grieving families for quite some time, but the newest way they are praying on families is disheartening. It is hard to believe that someone could be so low as to target a bereaved family. You may have seen this in the latest news, but we want to make sure our families are aware of these scammers. We have had a few of our own families targeted and it is happening to other local funeral homes as well.
The latest scam grieving families are dealing with is predators who are reviewing obituaries online and getting enough information to call the next of kin, informing them they are a part of the funeral home and demanding a deposit be made in order for services to proceed. These scammers know grieving families are not thinking clearly and are hopeful families won’t question their actions and will follow through with a deposit via Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay, Zelle, or whatever service suggested. What is unsettling is the fact these scammers review enough information about the funeral home, they will have the Director’s name and other information to make them sound even more legitimate. They spoof their phone number so it cannot be called back; they know exactly what they are doing and have thought the process through in hopes to have bereaved families fall victim.
It is extremely important for us to make our families aware of this before they are targeted. Our Funeral Director’s have started letting families know at the arrangement conference of these predators and what may follow. Local authorities have been contacted and are aware of what is happening, as well. The biggest thing we want our families to know is that we will never call demanding payment be made over the phone. We also would never ask for payment via any of these payment platforms these scammers are using. Please just make yourself aware and don’t provide payment over the phone to anyone that has reached out to you. Reputable businesses would never do this. Always call the funeral home and let us know if this happens.
- Sarah Driskell