Unfortunately, beyond planning a lost loved one’s cremation service in Penn Township, PA the bereaved also have to be on the lookout for scams. There are plenty of unscrupulous people ready to take advantage pf the bereaved in their vulnerable state of grieving.
In general, if anyone ever contacts you over the phone claiming that you or the deceased owes money always ask for the person’s name, firm, contact number, and address. If they are legitimate, they will be willing and able to provide this information. If not, they will usually hang up. There are also many specific death-related scams you should be on the lookout for, but these are the most common:
- False Collection Agencies – Sadly, scammers take advantage of the bereaved by claiming to be collection agencies after a debt that the deceased owed for a credit card or other kind of outstanding balance. The scammers will contact the bereaved by phone and will sometimes even take the time to send fake invoices addressed to the deceased indicating an overdue balance. Always seek legal advice before paying an outstanding debt or balance as the bereaved might not be responsible for paying it after the death of a loved one.
- IRS Scams – Some scammers will call the bereaved claiming to be the IRS and stating that the deceased owed money on taxes. Sometimes the scammer will threaten the bereaved with legal action if they don’t pay. This scam can be avoided because the IRS will never demand payment or threaten legal action over the phone. The IRS only communicates via written statements through the mail. You can follow up with the IRS to determine a call’s legitimacy.
- Medicare Scams – Some scammers will email or call the bereaved to say that the deceased’s Medicare insurance card needs to be updated and will ask the bereaved to provide the deceased’s birth date and social security number with the hope of stealing the deceased’s identity. But it’s important to keep in mind that the federal government will never attempt to get personal information over the phone, so any phone call asking about this info is a scam.
- Fake Life Insurance – Sometimes the bereaved will receive a phone call or email saying that the deceased had a life insurance policy but he or she was behind on payments. The scammer will say that in order for the bereaved to get the insurance payout they will have to pay the overdue premium payments, and then the scammer will provide a wire transfer account or prepaid debit card for the bereaved to pay the “premium payments”. You can avoid this scam as a real insurance company will never ask you to give payments or personal information over the phone.
You have to be ready for scammers after the death of a loved one. Do you want more information on avoiding these scams and Penn Township, PA cremation services? Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to assist you in any way we can. Call or visit us today.