It can be a real shock to hear about the sudden death of someone you know. So shocking that you might let your guard down and immediately seek more information. That’s what some fraudsters are counting on. They send you an e-mail entitled “Passing Of Your Friend” that looks like a legit notice from a funeral home, but is neither.
Also, none of your friends are dead. As far as we know.
What we do know is that according to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, the message purports to be from a funeral home sharing details of your friend’s passing. (How the funeral home would get your address isn’t clear–maybe the deceased was still logged into Gmail when they died.)
We discussed this scam before when the FTC first put out a warning about the situation, but here’s a screengrab and a sense of what the message looks like so you can be aware and warn your loved ones. Let’s be honest: this scam is probably aimed at the upper age range of e-mail users.
“It comes up Eubank Funeral Home, that they wanted me to contact them about someone that I knew that passed away,” one scam victim in Brooklyn explained to CBS New York. The e-mail invites you to click on a link in order to learn which friend died and the details of any services. That link takes you to a site filled with malware, not a funeral home.
If an e-mail invites you to open a link, don’t do it. If you do receive a death notice via e-mail, check with the funeral home’s website or on the phone directly: most list upcoming services on their sites.