Posted: January 4, 2013
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. Recently, a member alerted NFDA to a situation in which she was contacted by a scammer who wished to bring her father's body from Nigeria to the United States. In the course of their communication, the scammer threatened to attack the funeral director.
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.
In previous scam alerts, NFDA has cautioned funeral homes to reduce the risk of fraud by taking several precautions. Make sure that 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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