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Online Fraudsters Stoop to new Lows by Targeting Grieving Families With Funeral Live-Stream Scam

Unmasking scammers exploiting grief by demanding money for fake funeral livestreams, a heartless trend impacting vulnerable families.
Cover Image Source: Photo by Brett Sayles
Cover Image Source: Photo by Brett Sayles

The loss of a loved one can leave people devastated and this is also the time when they are too vulnerable to spot any threat from deceitful con artists. As part of a disturbing new trend, online scammers are preying on individuals grieving the loss of a loved one. The latest tactic used by these heartless fraudsters involves Irish undertakers who provide live-streaming services for funerals. The scammers create fake Facebook pages in the name of funeral directors, and even replicate obituary notices and livestream links. Once set up, they brazenly demand credit card details from unsuspecting viewers, claiming that it's necessary to continue accessing the funeral services.

Pexels | Photo by Kaboompics .com
Pexels | Photo by Kaboompics .com

The name of one such funeral director, Kieran Roarty, based in Bunbeg, Gaoth Dobhair, West Donegal, was exploited by these scammers. Roarty, who offers live-streaming services for funerals, expressed his outrage at the unethical exploitation. Describing the situation as "an absolute disgrace," he shared that numerous funeral directors providing similar services have been targeted by hackers seeking to capitalize on mourners' vulnerability. Roarty live-streams funeral services for families who are unable to do it on their own and allows grieving relatives worldwide to virtually attend the funeral. However, scammers leveraged the goodwill initiative for their nefarious gains by pretending to be Roarty.

Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project
Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project

The scammers create fake funeral notices and livestream links, copying the original obituary details of the deceased. Without the mourners knowing, they change the streaming link and ask for credit card information to keep watching the funeral services.

Roarty emphasizes that if the streaming information is not directly available on the funeral director's official page or on reputable sites like, people should avoid clicking the links.

Roarty admitted that catching those behind the scam is tough because they could be operating from any part of the world. The anonymity of the internet gives these heartless scammers cover, making it hard to bring them to justice. The consequences of these scams go beyond just losing money. Exploiting people during one of the most emotionally challenging times, mourning the death of a loved one, is particularly cruel.

Pexels | Photo by Anete Lusina
Pexels | Photo by Anete Lusina

Reports of this awful scam have already surfaced, not just in Roarty's local community but also in other parts of Ireland. The widespread nature of the issue underscores the need for increased vigilance. Roarty's plea to the public is a call to action, urging them to be careful and skeptical while encountering such requests, especially during times of emotional distress.

As the battle against online scams continues, communities must come together to raise awareness and stand united against these fraudsters. The story of scammers exploiting funeral livestreams serves as a stark reminder of the importance of digital vigilance. In times of grief, when emotions are raw, it's crucial to remain cautious and verify the legitimacy of online information to protect oneself from falling victim to these schemes. By staying alert and informed, people can collectively fight against scammers who won't shy away from stooping to new lows for swindling netizens.