Hubbell Funeral Home targeted in phishing scam using death notification emails

If you've been to the Hubbell Funeral Home in the past three weeks, chances are you heard their phone ring...nonstop.
 
The Belleair Bluffs business is the latest target of cyber scammers. The following email is currently circulating the country:
 
We would like to express our deepest sorrow for the untimely death of your beloved
friend and inform you about the life service celebration that will take place at
Hubbell Funeral Home on March 1, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

Please follow this link to get funeral invitation.
Please be there to honor the memory of your friend with her closest people.

Our best wishes and prayers,
William Wiggins,
Funeral home assistant
 
The email informs the recipient of the "untimely death" of their beloved friend. It says there is a life service celebration coming up soon at Hubbell Funeral Home. But when you click the link to get the details, there is no information. Turns out - it's a complete scam. 

"It's definitely not coming from us," Gerald Hubbell, owner and funeral director of Hubbell Funeral Home said. "It's a fraudulent email."

The business has seen a major interruption because of it. Three weeks ago, their phone started ringing like crazy and it hasn't stopped.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the scammers are hiding behind funeral homes to get people to click a link which then places malware on their computers, spreading the phishing scam. 

"I've actually been at home at night and literally have gotten a call from a soldier in Afghanistan. We've gotten calls from people in the Pentagon," Hubbell said.
 
Hubbell said he reported the scam to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
 
He hopes no one else falls for it. 
 
To help spot email scams, the BBB released the following 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.

To read more about the scam go to: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2014/02/hit-delete-on-new-fake-funeral-email-notices/#sthash.R10CzOc2.dpuf

 

 
 
Print this article Back to Top

Comments