Police probe into pre-paid funeral scam

Police have launched an investigation into an allegation of funeral plan fraud.

Detectives were contacted in late November 2014 by undertakers after a grieving family approached them regarding concerns after they had tried to organise the pre-paid funeral of an 83-year-old Four Oaks man.

It is alleged that his plan had been purchased in 2005 from the former owners of the Fox Hollies Road business known as Samuel James and Sons.

But when his wife and son came to access the £3,900, no records of the scheme could be found by the industry’s governing body.

The relatives of the man are finding the situation particularly distressing as it comes while they continue to mourn their loved one.

We’re working hard to understand more about the company from which the plan was purchased but this is proving complex as the owner has since died. We’ve been speaking with the new undertakers, funeral industry regulators, banks and others to progress the investigation.

At this time we have identified one victim but if we prove that the plan was an elaborate fraud then I suspect that there may be other victims out there. Unfortunately many people will only discover too late that they or their loved ones have been conned.

Detectives investigating the potential scam are advising anyone who has purchased a plan from the former company to check their documentation.

If you have any concerns about your plan then you should initially contact the funeral plan providers named on your documentation.

On every document there should be a plan number, summary of your wishes and how much you have paid.

If you still have concerns after contacting the provider, then call us on 101.

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