How to Avoid a Funeral Scam

Find out how to prevent falling prey to these dangerous scams.

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Funeral Home Scams and Horror Stories (3:25)

When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, the last thing you would expect is to be taken advantage of in a moment of crisis. Unfortunately, this is an all too frequent occurrence today. There have been countless reports of funeral homeowners scamming families by charging outrageously high casket prices, upselling them at every opportunity, and ignoring the family's burial wishes. In an effort to fight back, investigative journalist Tia Brown went uncover to expose the dark and seedy underbelly of the funeral business. Whether you have recently lost a friend or family member, or you know someone who is going through the funeral planning process right now, check out these tips from funeral director Miranda Robinson to avoid falling prey to a scam. 

Prices Should Be Stated in the Beginning 

According to Robinson, a general price list should be offered right at the start. This list will explain all the items you have the option of paying for so you know in advance the options that are available to you. If you don't know these from the start and a list is never provided funeral homes can increase the prices without your knowledge. 

There Is a Difference Between Open and Closed Casket 

Prices are cheaper when there is a closed casket because the funeral home does not need to embalm the body. If a funeral home tries to charge you the same price for a closed casket as an open one know that this is a scam. 

Check the Reviews 

We live in a digital age where a lot of information is readily available online. Check the reviews of the funeral home online to see if people had good or bad experiences there. If you don't know of any funeral homes in the area you can also ask friends, family, neighbors, or others in your community for recommendations. 

Don't Go Alone

If you have suffered a recent loss you will emotional and unable to think clearly. Have a trusted friend or family member accompany you to the funeral home when it is time to make arrangements so there is someone alert and aware and you are less likely to get scammed.

Buy a Casket Elsewhere

You don't need to go through a funeral home to get your casket. You can actually get them from retailers by simply searching on the Internet. It is perfectly acceptable to order a casket from an outside supplier and ship it to the funeral home if you need to stay within a tight budget.