The death of a loved one is a distressing time and there are scumbags who may try to take advantage of the bereaved at their most vulnerable.
Typical Scams Targeting the Bereaved:
Scammers call or write claiming to be owed some money or to be from a debt collection firm.
They may make threats and will pressure for immediate payment.
If in doubt as to whether such a debt exists or whether you may be liable for any debt, check the details before making any payment and the Citizens Advice consumer helpline can offer guidance.
A scammer contacts you in order to pay you the life insurance, but in order to do this they need your personal information, bank details etc.
Never hand over such information unless you are certain it is genuine.
If the caller or letters demand a final payment, release amount or any other payment similar then it is almost certainly a scam.
People search obituaries for information they can use to forge identities. Please be careful of the information you put in an obituary and do not include details like date or place of birth or give out full addresses.
Long Lost Relative Scams
Funerals are a time to reconnect with family, but watch out for ‘long lost relatives’ who come out of the woodwork to claim they are owed something or should share in any inheritance.
If they want money, then confirm their identity with other relatives or the authorities.
If they insist they were owed money or an inheritance, a debt or property, consult a solicitor.
Register a Death
You may need to update various authorities e.g. local council, register of voters etc.
Scammers setup fake websites and advertise on Google to try to get you to use them for such registration. Typically they might charge you for this when it should be free or they just steal your payment information.
Always make sure you are using the official websites and don’t simply click on whatever is top of a Google search.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.