Obituary phone scams hit Ohio
Published 3:07 pm Friday, August 11, 2023
Grieving families targeted by fraudulent phone calls
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Commerce is issuing a consumer alert to Ohio families using cemetery and funeral services.
Scammers are using recent obituaries to find information about the deceased person’s family. Scammers contact the family pretending to be a representative from the funeral home or cemetery to obtain their financial information.
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“It’s an awful scam that targets families when they’re most vulnerable after losing a loved one,” said Daphne Hawk, superintendent of the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, which registers more than 4,100 cemeteries. “We want Ohio cemeteries and funeral homes to be aware of this potential scam and let the families they serve know your process. We have resources on how to handle such scams and what to do if you understandably fall for one, too. All that information is in our alert.”
If an incoming phone call sounds suspicious, consumers are encouraged to hang up and call the cemetery or funeral home directly for confirmation.
Based on media reports, the Division is aware of clients of at least one registered Ohio cemetery being affected by the scam.