If you thought losing a loved one was hard enough, these days, scammers are looking to make it even harder as bereavement scams are on the rise.
Your best defense when it comes to scams and fraud tactics whether online or offline is to be aware of how scammers are catching people in their trap of deception and how you can safeguard yourself, your family, and those around you.
This is why you should check out our blog regularly to stay in the loop when it comes to the latest fraud news and ways you can be careful with your valuable information and possessions. You can also follow us on social media to keep yourself updated, alert, and ready for anything.
What Are The Current Bereavement Scams?
When it comes to fraud the list of possibilities is endless, and believe it or not fraudsters can be incredibly creative and audacious! Which is why it’s important for you to be aware of some of the following current bereavement scams:
Identity Theft Of The Deceased
Identity theft is no new thing when it comes to fraudsters trying to steal from those who may or may not be in vulnerable situations. However, the El Paso FBI is warning citizens against fraudsters attempting the following:
- They will try to open credit or bank accounts in a deceased person’s name or use a phishing scam to pressure relatives to payout.
- Scammers may also contact you to let you know that they can reinstate an expired life insurance policy if they just pay a certain amount, it is never a good idea to send money until you’ve made 100% certain that it is a legit contact.
- Theft of social security numbers of the deceased might be relevant, as fraudsters attempt to steal an identity.
Ultimately, you can never be too careful or too aware when it comes to these scams. Alternate options are as follows: credit card or tax fraud, life insurance fraud, or inter-relational scams or funeral scams and even outstanding debts and many more.
How Should I Protect Myself From Bereavement Scams?
After keeping yourself informed with the latest fraud tricks, the next best step to protecting yourself from this kind of deception is to ensure that you don’t give out any personal details too easily, even to people claiming to be official service providers.
Unfortunately, when dealing with the death of a loved one, this applies to their personal details as well. We highly recommend you be wary of how much information you share about your departed loved one, both online and offline. Whether it is for an obituary, social media acknowledgment, and more, you’ll want to be careful to keep the identity of your loved one safe.
It is possible for you to freeze the assets and accounts of your deceased loved ones, to prevent fraudsters from gaining access through any of their personal information. You will need to report this to your nearest credit reporting agency. You can also request a credit report right in order to detect any fraudulent activity that might be taking place. If you suspect anything, we recommend you report it immediately.
It would be wise to inform tax companies or other governmental services when it comes to your loved one’s passing away. This will prevent any identity theft to take place in various places. It’s also a great idea to make sure your funeral service alerts the Social Security Administration and if they don’t it is a good idea to let them know when someone has passed away.
Report Any Suspicious Activity
As an aware citizen, the best thing to do when you suspect fraudulent activity or if you have had an encounter with a fraudster is to report it. When you report these crimes, you become part of the solution and a protection for the rest of the community around you. There can only be justice in fraud, both online and offline when everybody is aware and comes together in unity to expose where there is damage and deception.