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Typical Scams on the Bereaved

It’s an awful thing to know that there are people out there who are constantly trying to scam people in order to take advantage of them. While we know many scammers target elderly individuals, were you aware that there are some people who specifically go after those who are bereaved? Keep reading below on typical scams that can occur on the bereaved.

Life Insurance
Many scammers will call a family after they have lost a loved one and claim that they are an insurance company provider who has a life insurance policy on the deceased. Typically, they will say the policy is valued at around $50k but the individual was behind on their payments. The family will then be asked to pay in order to reactivate the policy in order to receive the policy. They will ask that you wire transfer the payments to them, along with a copy of the death certificate.

Credit Cards
An alert has been issued to all consumers by the Better Business Bureau regarding a scam, which targets the loved ones of bereaved families claiming to be a collections service. They send fake invoices that are addressed to the deceased with invoice ranging anywhere from one hundred to one thousand dollars. If you believe that you have received a false report, run a credit check on the deceased individual. You can view all open accounts by using or

Be advised that companies like Medicare and Medicaid will never call you and ask for information over the phone. One common scam on a bereaved family is when a scammer calls and claims that their insurance cards need to be updated. You will be asked to verify your birth date and your social security numbers. Do not provide this information over the phone if this ever happens to you.

Tax Fraud
One very sophisticated phone scam can occur regarding tax fraud. The scammers will call claiming to be IRS employees and claim that the deceased individual owes money on taxes. In some instances, they may even threaten to have you arrested if you don’t pay all or part of the owed taxes. Keep in mind that the IRS will NEVER demand payment immediately over the phone when there are taxes owed without first sending you a notification in the mail asking for credit or debit card numbers. They would also never threaten to bring in local police or law enforcement to arrest you for nonpayment.

There are many more types of scams out there that families of recently deceased individuals can be at risk too. The above are just a few of the most typical and common that you should be aware of. If you or someone you know has been the target of one of the above scams, visit the website of the Federal Trade Commission for further information on what action to take.

Ascension Funeral Group serves the Mobile, Alabama area with funeral and cremation services, grief support, pre-planning, and more.
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