Posted: November 18, 2015
If an email seems "fishy," chances are it is. NFDA was recently alerted by several members in different parts of the country to the latest scam email. The email, which is riddled with grammatical errors, reads:
Hello my name is Anthony Cockrell, I live in [your city]. I am a captain of a fishing vessel and I am on sea at this moment. I will like to use your funeral home for the funeral of my wife who passed away on the 14th of November, 2015 after an automobile accident in London England while on a business trip. she is currently at a funeral home in England.
I will like you to help me make all the funeral arrangement. I will want you to help me contact the funeral home in England and figure out all the necessary arrangement to be made to ship her body back to the states to your funeral home for final burial. please let me know if you would be able to help me make this arrangement so i can write you back with the contact information of the funeral home in England so we can begin with the shipping arrangement.
Capt. Anthony Cockrell
Over the years, NFDA has received numerous reports from members who have been contacted by scam artists. These scams have run the gamut from people pretending they want to purchase cremation jewelry to individuals claiming a relative has died in another country and they need repatriation assistance. Scammers contact funeral homes in a variety of ways (fax, email, relay operators, etc.), and the inquiries can originate from anywhere in the world.
If you are threatened by a scammer, you should contact local law enforcement officials who can assess whether the individual poses a real threat. You may also wish to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.ic3.gov, which is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
Make sure all employees at your firm, as well as your firm's answering service, are aware of the potential for scams by sharing these guidelines with them.
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