Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How scammers have sunk to a new low with an AI obituary scam targeting the grieving

Estate planningOnline scammers have been exploiting grieving individuals with a pirate scam that uses AI to create fake obituary websites. These scammers target people searching for information about deceased loved ones. They monitor Google search trends to identify recent deaths, then create counterfeit obituaries hosted on legitimate funeral websites. 

These fake pages are SEO-optimized to rank high in search results. When clicked, victims are redirected to adult sites or prompted with CAPTCHA scams that install unwanted notifications or ads. The scammers are currently profiting through affiliate programs, luring people into downloading unnecessary software, and generating revenue from ads on the fake pages. 

While this scam doesn't currently infect devices with malware, it's crucial to note that it could potentially evolve in that direction, posing a much more serious threat in the future. To protect yourself, avoid clicking on obituaries from unfamiliar sources and always verify the information. 

If you suspect a scam, report it immediately. Stay vigilant and protect yourself and your loved ones from these schemes.

For more information see Kurt Knutsson “How scammers have sunk to a new low with an AI obituary scam targeting the grieving”, Fox News, April 13, 2024.


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