You are here

Fake funeral notice can be deadly — for your computer

Share this page

Scam artists are forever trying to trick people into clicking on links that will download malware to their computers. But the latest scam takes the tricks to a new low. Scammers are sending bogus emails with the subject line "funeral notification." The message appears to be from a legitimate funeral home, offers condolences, and invites you to click on a link for more information about the upcoming "celebration of your friend’s life service." But instead of sending you to the funeral home's website, the link sends you to a foreign domain where the scammers download malware to your computer.

Malware, short for “malicious software," includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

If you get an email about a friend or loved one’s passing, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says hit Delete. Don’t click on the link. You may then want to contact the funeral home or family directly to verify the information.

To reduce your risk of downloading unwanted malware and spyware:

  • Keep your security software updated.
  • Don't click on any links or open any attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is.
  • Download and install software only from websites you know and trust.
  • Make sure your browser security setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads.
  • Use a pop-up blocker and don't click on any links within pop-ups.
  • Resist buying software in response to unexpected pop-up messages or emails, especially ads that claim to have scanned your computer and detected malware. That's a tactic scammers use to spread malware.
  • Back up your data regularly.

For general tips about avoiding and getting rid of malware, visit Computer Security.


Yesterday afternoon I saw a huge surge of traffic on one of my servers. It turns out that a host of servers (many Russian and Polish) were injecting mail from a legitimate user on that system. Thousands of these messages either from "Hubbell Funeral Home" or "Clearwater & Largo Memorial Funeral Home" were sent before I could change the user's password and flush out all the queued messages. What a waste of time.

Been getting emails from the funeral home. I knew better. First it came in my junk folder amd as many funerals as I have been too in my life, they don't email you. Sick folks wilk do anything to leep from having a real job.

got one of these today from Hubbell Fun. Home in my
reg mail & didn't open as I've read all about this in newspaper. pretty scary.

This actually is an email generating from Iran. Do not open

I opened one. Have been fighting to keep my computer up and running ever since. Ran CCleaner, Eset scan, and Malwarebytes. Nothing showed up but the virus appears to start up every program known to man and totally bog the computer down. Any suggestions?

Try running Rkill first, then follow it up with Malwarebytes. Rkill will shut down anything active and allow it to be killed by anti-virus software.

For those chatting about the emails they're coming from being legit or not, you truly can't go by that. The email address can easily be altered – it’s not an indication of the validity of any email communication.

This is horrible....unfortunately, I received one from Hubbell in Florida and opened it. My cousin, who lives in Clearwater, was just in a horrible car accident that killed his wife. I was ready to send it to trash and then thought it might be her obituary. Hope I am okay....

I got an email also from Clearwater and Largo! I was worried and thought maybe that's the way funeral homes helped the grieving families. I clicked it but it wouldn't load. I have a brand-new iPhone 5c. Does anyone know if I'm safe?? Please???? Guess you live and learn, huh?

I clicked the link only because I live on Largo!! What are the odds. This funeral was totally believable as it is our town! The link was an error message and I hope my iphone is ok :(

Just recvd a funeral notice supposedly from Douglass Funeral Home. Recognized it as a hacker and will delete but wanted to add thus to your list.

I opened this email on my droid phone and something downloaded with a bunch of random letters but I could not find it anywhere. Can a virus like this infect a smart phone?

I receive a dozen of these nearly every day as undeliverable messages and all of them are showing the I am the sender. I hope that I do not get on some blacklist.

Received today: Funeral Notification from Douglass Funeral Home.
Deleted it.

(R) click on the link "copy link location" and paste to can see where they WANT you to go...usually NOT the funeral home...

I received one as well from Douglass funeral home.

i received one from Douglass Funeral home and clicked the link. but i didn't run the executable file. i think i'm ok.

I didn't get one but I'm on a look out. If I do get one then i know it's a trick because I've only been to 1 funeral in my life and I was 6 when that happened. Beware people don't open any even if you did go to a funeral recently!

I received one similar, however the subject line read death notification and the furneral home was Ocker for Amos family. No other name, just links for the days and a link for information.

I received this one today, too.

Man, cybercrooks will stop at nothing to try and create misery for victims. I got one today from the Amos family and couldn't help but laugh when I read it. On top of the generic greetings, poor punctuaution, stupidity and lack of information, what kind of fool would think people are going to fall for this dirty trick? It's hardly funny to the victim, but it leaves one wondering how much lower will attempt to go?

I have many emails for benin contonu claiming to have my funds from my uncle that passed away that was left to me they told me to pay the clearence fee

I did didn't recieve anything now I been getting email from all over the world claiming to have my funds demanding money threatening me that I'm lying and going to be arrested and asking me if I'm dead or alive

tex and phone calls all day long before that I got scamed 800 on a promise loan I never got and then I got a email saying I won the In U.K to send them money so I email all to the FBI and nothing

Some scammers promise you will get money, but they want you to pay first. They take your money, but you get nothing.

Then, they sell your name and information to other scammers. You get more calls and emails about different scams.

You can report this to the FTC at If the scammers were outside the US, you can report to That is a partnership of 35 countries that work together against fraud.

I hate this

This is about an after-funeral email I received. It told me that I was inheriting something from the friend who had passed and I should not tell anyone about it. The next email started asking for information and there were lots of English errors, it was then that I realized it was a scam.

How come my comments aren't showing up?

Is the 2019 benefit information for Calif residents regarding final funeral expense a scam? Is it a state regulated program?
Seems to come from Response Processing Cntr Indianapolis IN
Would love to know.


Leave a Comment