Savvy seniors are becoming very smart about spotting scam messages. So scammers are always on the hunt for new ways to evade the “delete” button. This scam email, disguised as a funeral notification, reaches a new low, and is targeted at seniors. How the Scam Works: You receive an email with the subject line “funeral notification.” The message appears to be from a funeral home in Texas, but it could be from anywhere. The email invites you to attend an upcoming “celebration of your friend’s life service.” The email looks real. It uses the business’s actual colors and logo. The email instructs you to click a link to view the invitation and “more detailed information about the farewell ceremony.” But instead of pointing to the funeral home’s website, it sends you to a foreign domain. Scammers place malware on these third party websites that downloads to your computer, giving scammers access to information on your machine. As usual, watch for scammers changing up this con. They may hijack a different funeral home’s name and/or change their message.

Tips to Avoid Email Scams: As a Michigan estate planning and elder law attorney, I am always looking for ways to protect seniors from scams. You can spot other common email scams no matter the circumstances, by following these tips:

  1. Don’t believe what you see. As in the example above, scammers can easily copy a real business’ colors, logo and even email address.
  2. Hover over links to check their source. Place your mouse over hyper-linked text and the true destination will appear.
  3. Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. As always, do not click on links or open the files in unfamiliar emails.
  4. Beware of pop-ups. Some pop-ups are designed to look like they’ve originated from your computer. If you see a pop-up that warns of a problem that needs to be fixed with an extreme level of urgency, it may be a scam.
  5. Watch for poor grammar and spelling. Scam emails often are riddled with typos.
  6. Ignore calls for immediate action. Scam emails try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don’t fall for it.

For More Information To find out more about scams, check out The Better Business Bureau

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