Scammers take money from grieving mother burying son: ‘I’m sitting here crying’

A grieving mother says she was scammed out of funeral money while burying her son. (Source: WAFB)
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 2:48 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB/Gray News) - A mother in Louisiana says she is dealing with the impossible of not only burying her son but getting swindled out of money in the process.

Ester Banks said she was targeted by a phony insurance company that took money from her that she needed to pay for her son’s funeral.

WAFB reports a person contacted the funeral home Banks was working with, claiming to be with a major life insurance company where her son had a policy. Banks said she then spoke with the mysterious caller.

“She was telling me that my son had insurance. She knew his full name. She knew everything about him. She knew all the details,” Banks said.

According to Banks, she believed the company because the representative had all her information.

“The lady went as far as telling me she just lost her son. He got shot in the head. Why would you do that? Make me feel sorry for you. I’m sitting here crying for you on the phone and myself,” Banks said.

The woman on the phone reportedly told Banks to receive a payout of more than $100,000, she would have to pay the rest of her son’s premium.

Banks said she sent the money through an app totaling $1,530, but the so-called insurance company stopped answering calls and eventually disconnected its phone number.

According to the Better Business Bureau, there are multiple platforms where companies can purchase personal information, including phone numbers, addresses and the names of family members.

The organization said if you get a call you’re unsure of, ask questions and take control of the conversation. Tell them you will check them out before you verify anything.

Banks said she has filed a police report and hopes to get some answers.

The funeral home Banks was working with said this was the first time it has heard of such a situation.