How does a funeral scam work in the first place? This is something that I, as a security analyst, teach to the consumer public. First of all, the fake funeral scam starts off with an e-mail. The fraudulent e-mails come disguised as a notification for a funeral.
The Better Business Bureau describes how the funeral scam works:
The subject line of an e-mail will say “funeral notification.” The message can be from anywhere, though it’s made to look like it’s from a Texas funeral home. You’re invited to a “celebration of our friends’ life service.” It’s a real-looking e-mail. It even uses the funeral home’s actual logo.
Of course, typical of scam e-mails, you’re urged to click a link inside the message, to view “more detailed information” about the ceremony. But clicking on the link will take you to a foreign domain, where malware awaits – to be downloaded to your computer. The crooks will then have access to your personal data.
How to Avoid the Funeral and Other E-mail Scams
- Just because a real-existing business’s logo is in an e-mail message, doesn’t mean that the message is authentic and not fraudulent. A scammer can even make the sender’s address appear authentic.
- Before clicking on a link inside a message (and you shouldn’t, anyways), hover over the link to see what the source is.
- But why hover when you’re smart enough never to click on a link inside an e-mail message in the first place?
- A message from a company that has poor spelling and grammar is highly suspicious.
- Messages calling for immediate action are usually scams.
- Don’t click pop-ups that seem to originate from your computer, even if they warn your computer has been infected.
You now know how to stay ahead of crooks trying to rip you off with the funeral scam e-mail.