Bank Windhoek warns against funeral scam fraud

October 21, 2015, 1:02pm

It has come to Bank Windhoek’s attention that unscrupulous fraudsters are attempting to defraud clients after a death in their family.

Recently several instances were reported to the bank’s forensic department that, after a family member passed away, a client was contacted by an individual who claimed that before a funeral benefit could be processed a certain amount had first to be paid into specific account before the policy could be processed.

“How this works is that a family member of the deceased will be contacted by a stranger who claims to work for an institution where a funeral policy or coverage has become payable. These fraudsters often find the contact details of the grieving family member from funeral notices in the media and even social media postings, as they have very personal information about the family of the deceased,” says Johnny Truter, Head of Forensics at Bank Windhoek.

“Knowing that family members are in mourning stage, fraudsters take the opportunity to prey on the family’s weaknesses. They will usually call the number provided in the media from a cellular number and claim that payment is outstanding on a policy. They will even provide a contact number where they can be reached, which may seem legitimate,” Truter warned.

It is imperative for clients to first establish the identity of the individual who requested that the money be paid into an institution’s account, by phoning the branch or institutions head office. If this individual also constantly phones or SMS you about whether the money has been transferred into their account alarm bells must go off.

“If there is even the slightest bit of suspicion that this is “out of the blue” or too good to be true, you must immediately contact your nearest Bank Windhoek branch or report the matter to our forensics department at forensic@bankwindhoek.com,” Truter said.