Are You Dying To Be Scammed?

For some people, the last time they will ever be scammed is an event that they won’t even know about. Unfortunately, their relatives may be too distressed to realise what has happened either, until it is too late.

dying-to-be-scammed

The death of a loved one is always a traumatic event but the cost of a funeral can easily increase the stress levels through the roof. At such a time, many people will happily leave a funeral director to make all the arrangements and guide them into decisions, without really considering the costs or any alternatives.

Whilst most organisers of funerals are genuine and honest, I’m sure, there are, nonetheless, some who would take advantage of the grievers in order to make more money. Here are a few ways in which they might do so –

Casket Scam #1

Some funeral director’s will try to increase their profits by showing off the most expensive caskets first, hoping that the grieving relatives will just make a snap purchase. Typically, those buying a casket will purchase one of the first few that they are shown. Therefore, the director may be tempted to show the more expensive show models first. The cheaper caskets may well be painted in less appealing colours, or hidden out of the way in a basement or a less accessible area of the funeral home.

Funeral Rules state that customers should be shown a full range of caskets, including prices. If this does not happen then you should ask as there are generally a large number of caskets available at very different price points.

Casket Scam #2

An optional ‘extra’ that is often offered is a gasket for the casket. This is designed to slow water penetration, thereby delaying decomposition of the body within. In reality, however, the gasket can sometimes trap air and make the casket explode. For this reason, they are often not allowed in mausoleums.

Additionally, the gasket typically costs less than $20, yet funeral homes have been known to add a premium of up to $600 for caskets that have the gasket fitted.

Misleading Discounts

Historically, caskets were only ever sold by funeral homes. In recent years, there has been an increase in independent showrooms and web sites which often sell them cheaper.

If you purchase one other than in a funeral home then you should not be charged any additional fees by the funeral home arranging the proceedings. In order to get around this, some funeral homes have used deceptive marketing tactics, such as offering huge discounts on their own caskets but then making up the shortfall on inflated funeral director’s fees.

The cemetery fees, death certificate, etc should not be overly expensive – if you see funeral director’s fees running into the thousands of dollars then this would normally indicate that all is not as it should be.

Tips for avoiding funeral scams

  • Shop around and compare prices
  • If you are emotional try and find someone who isn’t to aid in your choices, using their level head
  • Check price lists for caskets and ask in advance about any other fees that may be payable
  • Remember that you can remember the deceased without spending a fortune on their burial unless you particularly want to.
About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. In the UK, you can buy a funeral policy with many Funeral Directors before you die so your relative do not have to worry about giving you the funeral that you wanted.

    You select the coffin (casket), the service, the music etc. and pay the fees up front.

    I think this could stop a lot of the scams you discuss which seem to prey upon the grief of the relatives.

    • Hi Neil

      I believe the scams above make a point of taking advantage of relative’s grief, that’s what makes them work and also why they are such a heinous crime.

  2. Wow, forgot about the time difference, and for the record, you are still a wuss for sleeping, there will be plenty of time for that when we are dead!!

    Oh well, I guess no one is perfect. Say goodnight to whomever it is you say goodnight to for me!!

    jb

  3. If you can attract a lot of traffic to your site AND find advertising/advertisers that appeal to your visitors and vice versa.

    You can’t very well advertise McDonald’s on a nutrition and health site (at least not in good conscience!)

    But, you are right, if you build it (and they come) you should be able to make money!

    Not to mention, the immense boost that this must be giving to your skills as a writer!!!!

    • For me, this site is primarily a hobby, something to do, as I am getting divorced and have very little money.

      It has helped me meet new people and new friends, developed my researching skills (arguably), improved my writing (I hope), and kept me entertained – I actually enjoy reading the comments that counter my point of view.

      Financially, this site makes very little and not enough to justify the time I spend on it, however, I have had to learn a lot of skills that can now be implemented elsewhere profitably so I definitely benefit greatly from the experience.

      • Perhaps I should disagree with you more often, as you seem to get more of a rise out of that.

        I particularly like the line that I saw on YTB comments about this site being a scam!!!!

        I almost jumped on that one, but the glorious irony of that comment standing by itself could not be topped by anything that flows from my brain so I left it alone!

        But maybe I should take up that line… I could be your number one antagonist!!

        Unfortunately, I enjoy being agreeable way too much to actually pull that off!!

        I guess you are stuck with me being a fan.

        jb

        • I really laughed when I saw that comment on ytb too – they don’t even trade in my country for crying out loud!

          I’m very glad to have you as a fan Jon and, on that note, I am going to go to bed as it is 2am and I need to be up in a few hours. I also don’t want you hitting 100 comments until I have a celebratory post lined up!

    • Jon, you should work out how much that will cost to assemble and then market the idea online (if you have time for more sites).

      Link into it from your diety site – you’ll make a, ahem, killing!

      😀

      • Good idea, except that would mean another trip to Home Depot, and I am not sure if I can afford to suffer that kind of loss in order to make said killing!!

        I have not yet created a diet(y) website (perhaps i should what with my apple patch diet “business”!) are you referring to my deity website?

        Speaking of time for more sites, I think I found you on del.ici.ous or whatever it is called, check your network, is that you? The user name had something to do with an aged place to store your boats… if it wasn’t you, I wonder who it was!!

        jb

        • ooops.. yes.. I meant deity!

          As for del.ici.ous, I don’t know who you found but I’m ‘Nengwe’.

          By the way, I just returned the favour with Technorati favourites :)

        • Sorry to give you a hard time about the spelling, but I recognize that your spelling is always above board, so I assumed that you (like me) prefer to have such things pointed out!!

          Thanks for the Technorati Fav, I can’t wait to get home and see it there…

          The del.ici.ous user I ran into refers to him(her)self as olddocks.. ring any bells?

        • You should see how many times I have spell checked a post, published it, then found a typo or spelling mistake and cursed (WordPress spellcheck is a foreign language to me – it’s American!).

          I’ve never heard of olddocks.

          I see you read Problogger.net – have you tried DoshDosh.com – she’s very savvy and offers similar and excellent posts.

        • not yet (doshdosh) I am still trying to find out how deep the rabbit hole (blogging world) goes!!!

          It seems like everything I find leads to something even more interesting! I am thankful for any suggestions I get, I will have to check out doshdosh soon! I really wish that I could just do all of this full time!! I could easily spend 10+ hours a day doing this, and not get sick of it!

          Oh well, someday soon hopefully!

          jb

        • Being able to live on an internet income is an ambition of mine too – I’m not so fussed about making a huge income as gaining the flexibility to work when I choose, thereby giving me more time with my children.

          It’s not something that’s going to happen any time soon but I believe it will – I’m always learning and I keep on adding more and more informative sites to my RSS subscriptions – now I just need to pull my finger out and get some of my other blogs and web sites going!

        • Same here, I’ve always fancied myself a sort of entrepeneur and I think this could give me the flexiblity to pursue some of my “real-world” ideas!

          Plus, its actually incredibly fascinating the range that you can get with this sort of work. I mean between you, me, and the millions of others wandering around the internet, you can talk to people all over the world about anything you can imagine!

          Just have to figure out how to monetize it!

        • Personally, I think monetising a site is fairly easy, it just depends on what your subject matter is.

          The real key to making money with any website is the amount of traffic you can attract, especially returning visitors.

  4. At the risk of offending some, I will list my preferences when I die:

    1. Donate my body to science. No expensive burials, no sad ceremonies, just the possibility of someone finally figuring out, “what’s wrong with him?”

    Assuming aforementioned “science” wants no part of my deceased remains.

    2. Cremation and scattering my ashes somewhere significant. Most people do the ocean or the mountains, but since I spend so much time on the Information Super-Highway, perhaps we could figure out a way to scatter me there? Turn my ashes into the next super-chip or something! If that fails, I do like the beach, so I guess the ocean would be appropriate enough.

    3. I’ve always liked (and this is where I seriously risk offending someone) the “stuffed” or “mounted” bears/deer/cougars/etc. that you see in museums and hunting lodges and such. Perhaps you could do the same for me? Probably put me behind a desk with a computer on it, cup of coffee in hand, eyes glazed over staring at http://www.scamtypes.com, scratching head with free hand… something like that would be nice. Set the whole peice in a spare office at a giant mega-corporation and see if any paperwork piles up on my desk then!!!! On the plus side, if you have an employee that needs a little “time-out”, you send them in for a meeting with “Jon”!!! See how long they sit there, what they say, you know it could be quite the practical joke!! What better legacy could you possibly ask for? I just feel bad for the cleaning lady that has to dust me off every week (creepy!!!)

    Anyway, my point is with all the good stuff that a dead body could be used for, it just seems a waste to bury mine in the ground… I want it to be re-invested!!

    jb

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