As funeral directors, we are accustomed to assisting our families with placing obituaries and funeral service notices in newspapers and online. We also need to be in the practice of making sure that our families are aware that this could lead to potential scams and they should be diligent in fact checking when receiving calls related to the death of their loved one.
Recently Bunker Family Funerals & Cremation had a pretty disturbing “scam” attempt to one of their families.
The same day the obituary ran for a family they were caring for, the family received a call from an individual claiming to be from an insurance company. The individual claimed that Bunker Family Funerals & Cremation had contacted them notifying them of the persons passing (Bunker’s was listed as the funeral home in the obituary) and told the spouse that they had a life insurance policy on the individual. The individual requested the account number and routing number to her personal bank account so he could get the claim processed and wire her the funds. Luckily, in this case, the family contacted Bunker’s to see if they had any communication with this “company”, but they assured them they hadn’t.
“It breaks my heart that people would attempt to prey on an already grieving family, but that’s the unfortunate reality we face today. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but it’s important that we educate the people we serve that they should never give out sensitive information to anyone without verifying the validity of the organization and the request,” Bryce Bunker said.
Here is more information on scams that are used during the time of loss in this recent AARP Article: Death Notice Double Cross.