After losing a loved one it’s always a good idea to call several funeral homes in Chesterfield Township, MI to find out if they offer the funeral services you are looking for. During this stage of finding a funeral home, you are likely to run up against some scams. Scammers can target you at every stage of the funeral arrangement process. Here are some scams you should look out for.
Why Scammers Target The Bereaved
Scamming is a distasteful thing for anyone to do, but there are many crooks that specifically target the bereaved because they are vulnerable. You have to be careful who you talk to about your deceased loved one, and who you welcome into your home during the memorial or funeral service.
Robbers Targeting Homes Of The Bereaved
Some scammers read published obituaries and the time of services so that they can determine when the family will not be in their home. You can prevent this by having someone stay at home at the time of the memorial or funeral service so that no crook will be tempted to enter and rob the place. You can talk to a funeral director if you are concerned that crooks may use the obituary to target your loved one’s home.
Stealing The Identity Of The Deceased Person
Crooks seek out a specific deceased person and steal their Social Security Number and other important information. They use the information to open accounts, take loans, and file tax returns. While this kind of scam does not often result in the family members of the deceased facing lawsuits, it can cause a lot of frustration and havoc. This kind of scam is known as “ghosting”.
How To Protect Yourself From Ghosting
You can ask your funeral director not to include information such as birth date, maiden name and other information crooks can use to guess someone’s Social Security Number in the obituary. You can also call the Social Security Administration to report your loved one’s death. Another precaution is to order multiple certified copies of the death certificate with and without the cause of death. You should request a copy of a credit report of the deceased and use it to find any active accounts or debts that the deceased owed. But if you suspect that fraud has already occurred and you have evidence, contact the police in the deceased’s jurisdiction.
Beware Of Fake Funeral Companies
It is always a good idea to visit the physical location of a funeral home you found online or found in an advert in traditional media such as magazines or newspapers. This is especially important if you are pre-planning your funeral. There are people that have purchased caskets and funeral packages online without researching whether the company they are transacting with is legit.
We have been providing funeral and cremation services in Chesterfield Township, MI for years. Our caring and experienced staff will not only advise you on funeral scams but also help you create a lasting and meaningful tribute to the life of your loved one.