Article: Scamming the Grieving--PLEASE READ

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by TwoCatDoctors, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    [I have this AARP article on the Grief Board here, but wanted to also put this here as many here end up with loved ones passing. PLEASE READ THIS, because it could possibly help you so much after a loved one has passed from being horribly scammed.]
    Scam Alert: Deceiving the Grieving

    By: Sid Kirchheimer | Source: AARP Bulletin Today | May 12, 2008

    To the Indiana families that had recently lost a relative, the callers were making a credible request: The state’s Vital Records Division needed personal information to complete the death certificate.

    But those requests are not legitimate: They’re just the latest twist on scams that attempt to steal the identities of people who have died.

    “Our office has gotten phone calls from people who recently lost loved ones, saying they’re calling us back because we supposedly called them to request personal information such as a deceased’s birth date, address and Social Security number,” says Corey Ealy, director of Vital Records for the Indiana State Department of Health. “But we never call citizens to collect information for death certificates. We are receivers of this information, not solicitors of it.”

    This is true of every other state in the country, says Celine Clark of the National Funeral Directors Association, which represents some 20,000 members, who typically collect information for death certificates and file it with the appropriate agencies.

    “It’s the funeral director who gets the doctor to complete the medical portion of the death certificate,” Clark says. “The funeral director gets the personal information of the deceased—name, address and Social Security number—from the family and files the death certificate at the county courthouse, and then gets it filed with the state health department.”

    “No matter what the situation, no state or county agency would ever call the families of the deceased,” Clark adds. “If you get a call from someone saying they are with a governmental agency that is preparing a death certificate, it, without doubt, is a scam.”

    In the Indiana cases, the scammers apparently read obituaries and then called the grieving families. Here’s how to protect yourself from such trickery:

    • In obituaries, don’t include details such as the deceased’s birth date (use only the year) or addresses, including those of family members.

    • Never provide a caller (or e-mailer) with any personal information on a deceased person.

    • MAIL COPIES OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE TO ALL THREE CREDIT-REPORTING BUREAUS —Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—AND ALL CREDIT ISSUERS TO CANCEL ACCOUNTS right after the person dies. Check the deceased’s credit history at four to six weeks later to ensure no fraudulent accounts have been opened.


  2. soulight

    soulight New Member

    It makes me so mad and sad too to hear of any person getting scammed . I just hate it when a person in a compromised position is taken advantage of. I suppose it could be from my background. But , God has turned that into good so that I can empathize with others.

    Anyway , thank you so much for the link. I have a site for helping seniors and I added the link to it.

  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    When I was sent the AARP article in the monthly newsletter they send me, I wanted to get the word out to everyone. I originally put it on the Grief Board, but finally put it here because I think so many lose loved ones but do not go to the Grief Board.
  4. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    this is really good information

    thanks for sharing
  5. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I hope you'll pass the information on to others. I think it is horrible for people to scam others at any time, but to do it when a loved one has just passed, well that's just inexcusable and the very worst of person.