LONGWOOD. Fla. – Longwood Police Department issued a warning Wednesday regarding funeral and cemetery schemes.
They posted the FBI alert warning of multiple fraud schemes on their Facebook page.
Officers said in one approach, schemers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral of a stranger. They tell the widow or widower the deceased had an outstanding debt with them. Longwood police are warning that these perpetrators will try to extort money from relatives to settle these fake debts.
To avoid falling victim to a scheme, wait until you have your loved ones bank information in order and ask for proof of debt. If something seems out of the ordinary, call police.
Another scheme involves disreputable funeral homes. Longwood police said these funeral homes try to take advantage of families, by adding unnecessary charges to their bills. In one common scheme, funeral directors insist a casket is necessary even when performing a direct cremation.
To avoid falling victim to this funeral home scheme, consult the Better Business Bureau and check for any complaints. It's also recommended you check out funeral homes on popular review aggregating websites like Google or Yelp.
Authorities also recommend taking a tour of facilities and comparing costs with other funeral homes to make sure you are not falling victim to unnecessary charges.
Longwood police said these two schemes particularly target the elderly. They recommend speaking with your families and loved ones to avoid falling victim to these schemes.