ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Scammers Targeting Funeral Homes

LITTLE ROCK – The loss of a loved one is difficult enough for family as they make funeral arrangements, but scam artists have been targeting funeral homes to trick the businesses into giving the recently passed family member’s social security number and other personal information. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s Office has identified scam artists posing as family members calling funeral homes seeking the social security number of “their beloved family member” to complete end-of-life arrangements.

“Scam artists have taken their skills to a new low by targeting families and businesses dealing with the heart-wrenching loss of our loved ones and causing long-term problems for the family and finances,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I urge any funeral homes receiving calls demanding social security or personal information to hang up the phone and call my office immediately.”  

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers and businesses avoid social security scams:

  • Establish policies and procedures.  Protect consumer information and prevent consumer data breaches.
  • Train your staff. Make sure all employees know your office’s policy about consumer privacy protection and safeguards, when it comes to purchasing supplies, receiving goods, and invoicing. 
  • Verify to clarify. Be wary of anybody who calls out of the blue claiming to be your regular supplier or client.  Ask the caller to verify the account number or contact your supplier or client independently to confirm the authenticity of the information offered.
  • Consider adopting a policy where the company does not provide personal information over the phone without prior authorization
  • Be skeptical of any phone call requesting personal information, such as social security numbers, and verify the identity of the caller

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves as co-chairs of the National Association of Attorneys General Veterans Affairs Committee, re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture and was the former Chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region. As the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, she remains active on the Executive Board.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

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