Funeral Advantage Program not a federal program

By Robb Hicken/ chief storyteller

The trifold card looks official with its declaration that it’s intended for “United States Mail Recipient.”  On the reverse side it states “The U.S. Government, the Federal Medicare Program nor any state agency is affiliated with … .”

But, it was enough government looking verbiage that it caused Carolyn of Nampa, to call BBB and get more information.

“I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it,” she says. “Maybe this is an interesting one for you to use to help others be aware.”

The mailer, typically referred to as an insurance lead card, is sent to residents in a particular region. In this case, the company is targeting residents age 50-85, claiming they may qualify for the Funeral Advantage Program (underwritten by Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Co.) that pays cash to the family in the event of death.

It makes a broad claim that thousands of Idaho residents have been accepted for this program that helps pay for funeral and any other final expenses.

This is a solicitation for an insurance company, and allows them to contact you and make a presentation about insurance.

If you fill out the form, and are looking for insurance, remember to look at all aspects of the plan. Determine if the proposed coverage meets your insurance needs.

Prepaying for a funeral has advantages, as well as risks. If you choose to prepay, make a well-informed decision, carefully research your options and know your rights. You can always make plans in advance, without prepaying. Be sure to share your specific wishes with those close to you.

BBB offers tips to consumers receiving unsolicited requests for personal information:

  •  Be wary of providing personal information to anyone through the mail. That information can be sold and resold to other parties. In some cases, people selling a variety of products may contact consumers repeatedly. The information also could be used to steal your identity.
  • Scrutinize carefully any mailing that appears to be from a government agency. Some private companies will use names and language that hide the true nature of their business. Look for any disclaimer, even in the fine print; indicating the mailing is not from a government agency.
  • If you have any question about a mailing or other solicitation, contact the BBB at 800-218-1001 or at www.bbb.org. The BBB also offers Reliability Reports on companies.

It is sad but scam artists often prey on the vulnerable. Fraudsters artists probably get the names of their victims from obituaries published online or in local newspapers.

Leading insurance scam is the delinquent life insurance premium ploy has an “insurance agent” phoning the surviving spouse, with an alleged funeral home employee. The widower is told his wife’s life insurance premium is delinquent and $3,000 is due. He asks for a credit card to make a partial premium payment and to wire the remaining amount.

Older Americans are advised to check with http://www.bbb.org whenever contacted by an unknown person or business demanding payment for an unfamiliar product or service.

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3 Comments

Filed under News You Can Trust

3 responses to “Funeral Advantage Program not a federal program

  1. Rae Smith

    I can’t believe they could trademark the word Advantage when all the Medicare Advantage plans were using this word long before the Funeral Scams started using it. And the US Post Office now calls this junk mail “standard mail” mostly because they exist for this kind of scam mail, and we exist to receive this stuff over and over and over. Ugh!!!

  2. MY MOTHER IS 85YRS OLD AND SHE WAS Dx cancer in the uter and other in the uter neck.thats happend in Nov.2012 and I need to have the funeral cover cuz Im a low income single mother and if something happend I don”t have $ to cover the cost of the funeral..what I needs to do..plss answer at my fb.thanks

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