Criminals Prey on Grieving Residents in Shreveport Area
Funeral homes in Shreveport Bossier have been alerted about a nationwide scam targeting consumers of cremation, funeral and cemetery services. We have also been advised by a client family that they too were contacted multiple times. The local family did not give up any personal information and reported this scam.
These scammers are hunting on social media, news websites and funeral home sites to find out about people who have died. Once these criminals lock on to information about the deceased, they then start digging up information about the next-of-kin. They typically try to find names, addresses and phone numbers of grieving family members.
This scammer then takes this to another level by going to a funeral home, crematory or cemetery website to find a name of a staff member. They then contact the grieving family member and pretend to be the staff member from the funeral home. They are looking for credit card information to move forward with the services for the deceased loved one.
Consumers need to be aware of this scam. If you get a call from an individual claiming to be a funeral home employee who is attempting to gather financial and/or personal information, please:
■ Take down the caller's information (including name, title, phone number, and email address), and report this to police and to your funeral director. If they refuse to provide that information, record the number on your Caller ID or cell phone call log to share with authorities.
■ Refuse payment and NEVER disclose credit card numbers, banking information, social security numbers or a date of birth.
■ Tell the caller you will follow-up directly with the funeral home and end the call. And feel free to end the call without explanation if it appears suspicious or to be a scam.
You should also alert the authorities about this contact so they can try to gather evidence.