We have been alerted through the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) of a scam targeting families we may have recently served. The predators are targeting those who have recently experienced a death by using recently published obituaries as well as those who may have made preneed funeral arrangements.
For the families who have recently experienced a death, scammers posing as a member of the funeral home’s staff are calling to tell families that they owe another $1,000 (or some other amount) for the service.
Families are also being contacted to say that a “security deposit” of $1,500 (or some other amount) is needed for their preneed account. The scammers threaten that if the deposit is not paid immediately, the funeral home cannot guarantee that the service will take place.
“While we have not been made aware of any specific instance of this scam happening locally, we certainly encourage all families in our community to be aware of this ongoing situation and to contact their funeral home of preference independently of any phone call received making such claims,” said Justin D. Calarco-Smith, funeral director and president of H.E. Turner & Co. and its affiliated funeral homes in Genesee and Wyoming counties. “If this is indeed happening in our area, we’d like to be aware,” added Calarco-Smith.