The Alabama Board of Funeral Service issued a warning last week about a current scam that targets grieving families. The agency has received reports of individuals who do not work for a funeral home calling families who have lost a loved one and requesting additional money be paid for funeral-related items such as caskets, cemetery items, shipping, and other things.
Families are requested to bring money to the parking lot of the funeral home or other business after hours, to wire the money, or to give a credit card number over the phone to cover the charges.
Families who receive such calls should contact the funeral home directly or go to the funeral home during business hours and speak to a licensed funeral director to confirm the call is fraudulent. Fraudulent calls should be reported to local law enforcement.
La’Shone Price, owner of Price Family Funeral Homes, issued the following statement: “Snead Funeral Home employees will never ask any family member to meet away from the funeral home to collect money. Snead Funeral Home employees will never call any family member and ask for a credit card number via phone. All funeral directors employed by Snead Funeral Home are licensed by the state of Alabama, and upon request, will… present their credentials. If they cannot present their credentials, then we encourage you to call 911 and report them immediately.”
Anyone receiving such a call “should not make any payment arrangements with anyone they don’t know personally,” said Lemley Funeral Home manager Jimmy Stewart. “They should call their local funeral home and verify the details. Funeral directors I know are not going to ask you for payment over the phone.”
Stewart said he is not aware of the scam having been attempted in the county. “All of the funeral directors in this area have good working relationships, and if that had been tried here, we talk back and forth enough that I think we’d all know about it,” he said.