MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — People can be very vulnerable after saying goodbye to a loved one who has passed. Now scammers are targeting those people in a new scam.
Here’s how it works: a scammer will call, posing as a worker with the funeral home. They’ll say you owe them more money for funeral expenses. Then they’ll ask to meet you in the parking lot of the funeral home after business hours, or they’ll tell you to go to a local business and wire them the money, or they’ll tell you to meet them in some random public parking lot.
But officials say don’t fall for it.
“So you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, and it’s a very difficult time for many. Sometime it could be the first funeral for the family members. So if they receive an unsolicited phone call from someone pretending to be from the funeral home, at that time, they probably wouldn’t question it that much,” says Sgt. Keith Miller with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
Thieves get their victims from newspaper or digital obituaries. We’ve already had a victim here in Mobile.
“A scammer actually called one of the families that we have recently served and they were told that they owed Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home additional monies, which was not true,” says Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home General Manager Buffy Johnston.
They were told they owed another $1,000. Thieves count on victims being so emotional, they won’t think twice about giving them money, proving just how cold-hearted scammers can be.
“It’s such an emotional time for the whole family, stressful, you’re trying to organize people coming from out of town, and the funeral service, it’s a lot for a family to deal with, and to add this, is it’s heartbreaking,” says Johnston.
If you get a call like this, contact a licensed funeral director, and never give your credit card information over the phone if someone asks for it.