By Alvaro Puig
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
We’re hearing about a new scheme that involves imposters preying on people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. The imposters pretend to be from the funeral home and say that, unless the family pays more money immediately, the funeral will be canceled. Can you imagine anything more despicable?
If there was a Scammers Hall of Shame, this one would make the Top 10 List, without question.
Here’s how to spot and avoid this scam:
Resist the pressure to act immediately. Honest businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
Contact the funeral home directly. Use a phone number that you know is real, not one you got from the scammer’s text, email, or phone call. If you don’t know it, you’ll find it on the General Price List you got from the funeral home.
Know how scammers tell you to pay. Scammers want to get your money immediately, and in a way that makes it hard to track them down and hard for you to get your money back. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or a gift card. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
If someone tried to rip you off, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.