Morrisey warns seniors of burial insurance scam

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 23, 2014


CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning senior citizens in West Virginia about a new insurance scam where callers try to pressure them into purchasing burial insurance.

Morrisey's office has received multiple complaints from consumers throughout the state, but particularly in the north-central region, about callers who say a new law requires consumers 65 and older to purchase burial insurance. There is no such law, but scammers try to pressure consumers into purchasing insurance over the phone.

“Our office is unaware of any new law in West Virginia requiring senior citizens to purchase any type of burial insurance,” Morrisey said in a statement. “This unfortunately appears to be just another instance where scammers are targeting the elderly and trying to scare them into purchasing insurance that is not needed.

"The scammer is simply trying to gain access to the consumer’s financial accounts.”

In one instance, a consumer in Barbour County reported receiving calls from a person who claimed the consumer needed to immediately purchase burial insurance to avoid violating state law. The caller said he would sell the insurance immediately over the phone at no additional costs in order to protect the consumer. The consumer hung up rather than provide financial information to the caller.

“Scammers will use any tactic they can to try to take advantage of people,” Morrisey said. “West Virginians, no matter how old they are, should always be skeptical if they receive unsolicited phone calls from people who are trying to sell them products or services that they have not attempted to purchase on their own.”

Those who have received these calls or been a victim of an insurance scam are asked to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 and the Office of the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner at 888-879-9842.

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