Click below for information on miscellaneous consumer tops from natural disasters to pets.

Topics of Interest - Charities 6


Many people purchase cemetery plots in advance to ease the financial and emotional burdens on their families.

  • Carefully read cancellation and refund terms before signing a contract.
  • If you pre-purchase a plot, make sure that your loved ones are aware.
  • Do independent research on any cemetery owner or operator you are considering buying a plot from.

Funeral Services

  • Many people enter into contracts to prearrange their funerals and prepay some or all of the expenses involved to ease the financial and emotional burdens on their families.
    • Always insist on seeing an itemized bill for the services you are purchasing.
    • Carefully read cancellation and refund terms as well as your portability options for transferring your contract to other funeral homes.
  • You do not have to buy all of your funeral items from the same funeral home.
    • Call and shop around before making a purchase.
  • Caskets are often the most expensive component of funeral services.
    • Insist on seeing caskets at different price points before making a decision to purchase a particular model.
    • A casket is not necessary when performing a direct cremation.
  • The Federal Trade Commission can help you plan a funeral.  You have rights under the federal Funeral Rule which allows you to compare prices and choose only the things you want or need.

Natural Disasters

  • Scammers sometimes use natural disasters as an opportunity to defraud consumers.
    • Often, scammers create fake charities after natural disasters preying on consumers’ altruism.
    • A fraudulent charity may be reluctant to provide information about its identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used.
    • A number of organizations provide information about the trustworthiness and prior track record of charitable organization.
    • Before making a contribution, you may want to look up an organization on various charity evaluation websites.
  • Fake repairmen often appear after natural disasters to fix damaged homes.
    • People may present themselves as roofers, carpenters, electricians and other tradesmen, demanding upfront payment for repairs before disappearing.
    • People may make unsafe and incomplete repairs that are not always covered by homeowners’ insurance.
    • Before hiring a contractor to make repairs, ask for proof of contractor licenses, workers compensation insurance, written estimates and scope of work in detail, and a copy of the contractor’s photo identification.


  • Scammers sometimes list animals that do not actually exist for sale at “great” and “discounted” prices.
    • Beware of listings on sites that use stock pictures.
    • Be skeptical if a seller offers a “free” pet and then asks for money to cover the cost of things like “a ventilated shipping crate” or “shipping insurance.”
    • Never send money for a pet purchase unless you have seen the animal in person.
    • Consider adopting from a local shelter instead of buying from a private seller.
  • Scammers sometimes pose as pet transportation companies to defraud consumers.
    • Always insist on knowing the location and contact information of pet transportation services.
      • Use this information to ensure that the company actually exists and is reputable.
    • Never pay for pet transportation services using money transfer services.