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Support from Obitus: Making people aware of funeral streaming scams

Chiltern webcasts screens on either side of the alter. In front, blue-cushioned chairs arranged in curved rows.

We are aware of recent media reports about scammers targeting bereaved families on social media with a fake funeral stream scam. We would like to along with our media provider Obitus offer some guidance and information to support our bereavement professional users, and the families that you work with.

What’s happening

As we understand it, fraudulent social media pages are sending friend requests and falsely advertising that they offer live streams of funerals, requesting payment from viewers to access the fake “stream”.

The fraud has no apparent pattern in its selection of funeral services to mimic – some are at funeral venues which have a streaming provider, while others are at venues that don’t offer live streaming. It’s therefore a scam that could target any funeral and not necessarily those that have requested a genuine live stream.

It’s deplorable that they are trying to take advantage of people at such a vulnerable time. We want to take this opportunity to outline the details of how our funeral live streaming works and help you protect families from these scams.

Avoiding scams – things to be aware of

Obitus will never ask viewers for payment to watch a Live Stream or Service Recording

As an official provider of funeral streaming services, we would never ask mourners to enter credit card details to access a genuine stream. All Obitus Live Streams are booked by bereavement professionals, who work directly with the family member planning the funeral.

Obitus does not take money directly from a family member organising a funeral

We work directly with bereavement professionals, and not the family or wider group of mourners. If a family chooses to have a live stream service, the Funeral Arranger will discuss and agree this directly with the family member who is planning the funeral, and the live stream fee would be included as part of the funeral costs. This means that individual mourners would never be charged to access a stream.

Be vigilant of suspicious links

Once a Live Stream is booked, our secure, unique login details are generated and provided to the Funeral Arrangers involved, and typically these are then sent on by the Funeral Arranger to the family member planning the funeral. All Obitus Live Streams and On Demand Recordings are accessed only via https://watch.obitus.com/

Once the family member has the unique login details for the Live Stream, they will share them with other mourners as they see fit.

The security and privacy of families is paramount to Obitus

Our systems and services offer a secure, private platform for our users, and we are continuously investing in this technology Each service we deliver has unique login details provided only to the Funeral Arranger who has booked the service, who will then share them with the family member who has planned the funeral. We do not give out login details to any family members or mourners directly, and any requests must go to the Funeral Arranger who has booked the service.

Our streaming technology is hard-wired into the Crematoriums and Chapels that we work with and monitored daily by our Tech Support team. As a professional user of Obitus, you also have full visibility to book, change and check Live Streaming service details through the Obitus Dashboard.

How to tell if a Funeral Live Stream link is legitimate

Funeral live streaming has become more popular over the past five years, but not everyone has come across it before. With this in mind, we have created a blog on our website HERE to help families spot scammer activity.

We urge people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity. We’re here to support you and the families we serve. If you would like to share similar information with your customers, we have created the below downloadable content that you can use on your website or social media.

Download funeral streaming support content

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