Tuesday, June 26, 2007


In one of my first posts I had mentioned that there are crooks and scam artists in every industry and that the newspaper constantly proves that to us. I'd be willing to bet that everyone has read one time or another that a certain funeral home, crematory, director or even the entire industry was crooked; scamming people. Nothing but a bunch of people who you have to keep your eye on so they won't take advantage of you. I'm sure some of it is true but I'm getting off the point.

Funeral homes have been constant targets of scam artists for at least as long as scammers have been scamming. There was the scam where we would receive a call from the operator telling us they had a call for us from a hearing impaired person. The person making the call would give us some bogus information and request that we send merchandise to a specific location. To back that transaction they would give us a stolen credit card number and authorize us to charge it for the shipped merchandise. Not all directors were smart enough to see this for what it was and a lot of money was lost. Fortunately, me being Mr. Skeptic helped me that time. Then there was the one where we would receive a a FAX that would have basically the same type of request. Again involving a stolen credit card number that they were requesting we charge. When they had finally stopped a new one would start. I'm sure any of you in business have gotten the one where the "Business Man" was asking for your help in transferring funds and you were to get a huge chunk of it. All you had to do was provide them with your bank account number and the funds would be transferred into your account. I guess there really must have been people who fell for that one.

The latest one, I got the FAX today, was from a hearing impaired woman in the UK whose mother had passed away while she was with her and her final request had been to be buried in the states where she lived. The daughter only had her "Mum", no other family and needed our help. The gist of the whole thing was again centered around a credit card that she wanted me to charge and simultaneously wire her funds so that she could pay the director in the UK so that he could get the "corpse" to me. She went on to say how kind we were for helping her and thanked us for our cheerfulness? 30 years ago any of us would have felt bad for the woman and probably helped any way we could but today we have become so aware of others trying to steal from us that whether true or not we're not going to help. All this tells me is that we are living in a sad, warped world. A world where we are made to be afraid to help others. What a shame.


MedStudentWife said...


love the cartoon *grin*

MedStudentWife said...

Now for a real comment...

Some of these scams become so "common", that tho' the police know about them, goodness knows what they are doing about it. I'm thinking they are overwhelmed, and are hoping that just getting the message of "beware" out is enough because they can't do much at the moment.

A bit back I started getting a lot of e-mails, which I later found out was that "Nigerian scam" thing. Of course, at the time I had no idea what was happening. I was going to put in a complaint to the federal police force, as I had never seen one of. But before I did, for some reason, I did some research.

As it turns out, there was no point in complaining about the scam as the police force knew all about it, yada, yada, and advised something to the effect that "you can report it, we are not going to do anything about your complaint, get back to the e-mail service and let them know that someone is using them for illegal purposes" and the underlying "beware - you have to look after yourself in these matters"

So I can imagine the poor folks that are helpless, maybe can't reason that well, etc.

Snake oil? These days make snake oil look like pablum.