Funeral & Cemetery Scams Lawyers
Working at a funeral home often means that you deal with families who are facing one of the hardest times in life. They are looking at you to provide memorial services as well as the items that are necessary for burial or cremation. At times, there are things that you might do either willingly or unintentionally that take more money from the family than is required. An attorney can help you solve these issues as most funeral home scams are a crime.
The funeral home is supposed to give a list of the prices of services that are provided. This is a federal law that includes a list for all of the goods and services that are offered as well as one for the caskets and other containers. This law forbids funeral homes from requiring that the family have services that aren’t required by all states. Embalming is an example as not every state requires that people be embalmed before being buried, and if the person is cremated, then embalming doesn’t have to be an option at all. The funeral home cannot insist that you choose a certain casket or container as a part of the conditions for providing the memorial service. If someone buys the casket somewhere else, the funeral home cannot charge extra money to the family. The Federal Trade Commission investigates funeral homes each year to make sure they are giving the proper lists and not getting more money. Investigators have found that one in four funeral homes have been in violation of this law.
There is an option with most funeral homes that allows someone to prepay for the funeral services and the casket or the cremation. This can help to take the burden off of the family so that they don’t have to pay for the service. However, a scam that many funeral homes take part in is to take the money without providing the services. Once the person passes away, the family doesn’t have access to a casket, cremation or any of the other services that were paid for by the deceased individual.
A scam that is rather new involves emails. As a funeral home worker, you can get details of a death that another funeral home is providing. You could send an email to several people who might know that person, but when the person opens the email, malware is unleashed on the computer. This gives you ample opportunity to get credit card numbers and other personal information. This scam does take a little bit of research, but if you knows how to get all of the information together, then it can pay off in a big way and leave the victim without money and without a computer as it can crash.
One of the ways that funeral homes get the most money from people is by showing the most expensive caskets first. As a worker, you will show showroom models before everything else. The Funeral Rule requires that all funeral homes show families a list of all options so that they can make an informed choice.
Depending on the severity of the scam, you could face several years in jail for the crimes that are committed. The home could be investigated by state or federal law enforcement officers. An attorney can help in getting the charges reduced so that there are only fines that are paid or so that the amount of the original fine is reduced, but the you need to be prepared to give an explanation as to why it took advantage of someone in a time of need so that the attorney can help you deal with the manner in a positive way.