Scammers, in general have no empathy and a new scam being reported by the Federal Trade Commission is a good example of that fact.  People who have very recently lost a family member are getting phone calls purporting to be from the funeral home handling the funeral arrangements demanding an immediate payment of more money than had previously been agreed upon or else, the scammers say, the funeral will be cancelled.  Scammers often target people at their most vulnerable moments and this scam certainly does that.

One indication that the call you get is a scam is that the scammer wants immediate payment made by either a wire transfer, cryptocurrency payment or payment by a gift card.  These are all popular forms of payment for scams because they provide immediate access to money and are impossible to get back.  However, asking for a payment in this fashion is also a good indication that it is a scam because no legitimate business demands payments in these forms.


The scammers pressure people to act immediately and send them the money.  It is important to resist that pressure.  Instead, if you get a call like this, which is quite unlikely, merely hang up and call the real funeral home where you will be told that whomever called you is a scammer.

If you do get such a call from a scammer, your Caller ID may indeed show the phone number of the real funeral home, so don’t be fooled by this.  Using a simple technique called “spoofing” scammers can manipulate your Caller ID so that their call appears to come from whatever number they wish to appear.

Finally, again, whenever you are asked to make a payment by way of a gift card or cryptocurrency it is a scam.  Additionally, legitimate businesses do not demand that funds be wired either.

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