The U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued a news release in June regarding a scheme involving individuals posing as Funeral Directors who are calling families as a "funeral home representative" demanding additional payments for funeral goods and services. These imposters then threaten to cancel planned funeral services for these families unless payment is received immediately through a wire transfer, credit card, gift card or cryptocurrency. The Board has received reports from North Carolina licensees affirming that families in Wake and surrounding counties have received these calls. Some funeral homes have inserted a Fraud Alert banner on their websites to alert consumers of these illegal activities. Consumers should end such a call if it appears suspicious or a scam. The FTC recommends the following preventive measures for consumers:
Resist the pressure to act immediately. Funeral homes and their licensees do not pressure consumers to pay or provide personal information over the telephone.
Contact the funeral home directly. If you have a legitimate telephone number for the funeral home, call that number. Do not use any telephone number that the imposter may provide. If you trust contact information for a particular funeral home with a website on the Internet, you can use that number. You will likely find a legitimate telephone number on the General Price List that the funeral home provided you.
Know how scammers tell you to pay. Consumers should avoid payment of any kind in response to insistent demands for money which are accompanied by threats to cancel a funeral service if payment is not made immediately.Consumers should never send payment in response to a request by telephone.