There is a new scam I heard about that preys on the grieving family of a deceased family member. Cybercriminals will review obituaries and contact the families either via email or social media. They will tell the families that the deceased had left a confidential message that can only be accessed by that person they are contacting. They will ask for $2,500 in exchange for 3 DVDs and ‘very important documents.’ Obviously, once the money is paid, the contact stops and you are out $2,500.
Another recent scam is where criminals will research both the recently deceased and county records to associate real estate that belongs to the departed. They will post these properties on real estate and rental websites and attempt to gain funds through downpayments.
The only reason why criminals pursue these activities is because they are lucrative. Please use good judgement and educate your friends and family about this horrible scam. Never trust anyone’s identity until you verify it yourself. If you are dealing with a family loss, unfortunately you’ll need to do your due diligence with a Google search to ensure that this scam is not happening to your loved ones. If you are the executor selling a property, you should engage a real estate agent quickly to help thwart off these attacks from happening to you.