Beware of Post-Death Scams
After cremation, which is one of the cremation services offered in Phoenix, AZ, as we are grieving the death of a loved one, we are under major stress. Not only are we experiencing the physical stress of handling all the post-death things that we must take care of to close the affairs of our deceased loved one, but we are also experiencing extreme mental and emotional stress.
We are sad because our loved one is gone. We may be worried about the future without them. We may wonder what we’re going to do next and how we will be able to go on without them. This mental stress is known as the “fog of death.” We are not thinking clearly or rationally, and it may be some time before we regain our mental equilibrium.
Emotionally, we may feel like we’re in a deep, dark hole that we will never emerge from. We may cry at the drop of a hat or we may sink into a depression that threatens to paralyze us.
With all these areas of stress hitting us at the same time, our sleep patterns are very likely disrupted. We may not be sleeping well or at all, which can leave us more physically tired, more mentally foggy, and more emotionally unpredictable.
While all of this is normal when we lose someone we love, it makes us extremely vulnerable to be taken advantage of by other unscrupulous people.
One of the most-often repeated pieces of advice that people will hear after they lose a loved one is not to make any major decisions for a year. Most people intend to do this, but scammers can take advantage of the stresses we are under and manipulate us to throw those good intentions out of the window, which could result in large property and financial losses.
How do scammers get to us in the first place? The most common way is one that we provide for them. Many people include their street addresses in obituaries (or their profiles on social media), so potential thieves have an address where they know that on certain dates and certain times, no one will be home. It’s as though we’ve unlocked the door and left it open for them.
If too much personal information is provided in the obituary or in social media profiles (many scammers are sophisticated enough to be able to take names from obituaries, as well as the pictures that accompany the obituaries, and match them up on social media, because almost everyone overshares information about themselves now), scammers can also steal our identities and commit all kinds of financial fraud in our names.
Some scammers, however, are more subtle than to steal our identities or break into our homes, and they may be the ones that we are most vulnerable to when we are experiencing extreme physical, mental, and emotional stress.
These scammers may pass themselves off as creditors and may demand money that they say our deceased loved one owed them. This is a popular method used to steal money outright or to commit identity theft.
Other scammers may stop by our houses and claim to be friends or very distant relatives of our deceased loved ones. Their ruse is to say that our loved ones promised them property or money after they died, or that our loved ones were in the middle of selling them something (for a very low price) before they died.
To avoid being scammed at such a vulnerable time, remove all personal information from social media accounts (or better yet, deactivate all your accounts temporarily) and don’t include any personal information in the obituary. If creditors call or people stop by for things or money, do not engage with them. Have a trusted and objective friend deal with them and contact local law enforcement to stop them.
To learn more about cremation services in Phoenix, AZ, our compassionate and experienced team at Simply Cremation & Funeral Arrangements can assist you. You can come to our funeral home at 16952 W. Bell Rd., #303, Surprise, AZ, 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.