AI Generated Fake Obituary Websites Target Grieving Users

Tributes turned toxic as crooks abuse AI.
AI Generated Fake Obituary Websites Target Grieving Users

Scammers are using AI generated fake obituaries. These deceptive websites appear identical to real memorials, exploiting human emotions to steal personal data, solicit donations for non-existent causes, or infect devices.

Cybersecurity researchers at SecureWorks have discovered an alarming trend in which scammers are leveraging AI (artificial intelligence) to create fake obituary websites. These sites, identical to genuine memorials, exploit human emotions for malicious purposes.

SecureWorks team noticed an uptick in web domains registered with obituary-related keywords, coupled with unusually sophisticated content. Upon closer inspection, the truth emerged: these were not heartfelt tributes but AI-generated fabrications aimed at scamming unsuspected individuals.

The increasing misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) is hardly unexpected. Recent findings indicate that cybercriminals are employing open-source AI technologies to create child abuse material (CSAM). Additionally, the emergence of harmful chatbots such as FraudGPT and WormGPT shows the extent to which AI can be exploited for malicious purposes.

The latest scam operates by creating obituary notices that mimic real ones in detail and sentiment, thanks to AI’s capability to generate human-like text. Visitors to these sites are often led to believe they’re paying respects to a deceased individual, not realizing the information is entirely fake.

The end game of it could be to phish for personal data, solicit donations for non-existent causes, or infect visitors’ devices with malware. Additionally, users are bombarded with fake malware pop-ups and in case the individual is using AdBlock (which they should) are blocked from visiting the site unless they whitelist the scam site.

AI Generated Fake Obituary Websites Target Grieving Users
Source: Secureworks

Some of the scam sites identified by SecureWorks include the following:


Nevertheless, the emotional toll of these fake sites cannot be overstated. Families and friends of individuals who have recently passed away may stumble upon these fake notices, experiencing fresh waves of grief and confusion.

Moreover, these scams also have a financial angle—some sites solicit donations for funeral expenses or charitable causes in the deceased’s name, unintentionally funding contributions into the pockets of scammers.

Identifying Fake Obituary Sites

Distinguishing between genuine and fake obituary sites can be challenging, given the sophistication of AI-generated content. However, there are red flags to look for:

  • Unverified Information: Real obituary notices are usually posted by known funeral homes or are verifiable through local news sources.
  • Solicitation of Funds: Genuine obituary sites rarely, if ever, ask for donations directly on the page.
  • Poorly Credentialed Websites: Look at the website’s other content and credibility. A legitimate obituary site will not have advertisements or unrelated content.
  • Absence of Detailed Personal Stories: While AI can generate convincing summaries, it lacks the personal anecdotes and depth that come from genuine contributions.

  1. AI Boosts Ransomware Threat, UK Cyber Security Center
  2. ShadowRay Campaign Hits Ray AI Framework in Global Attack
  3. AI-Powered Scams, Human Trafficking Fuel Global Cybercrime
  4. Deepfakes Are Being Used to Circumvent Facial Recognition Systems
  5. McAfee’s Mockingbird AI Tool Detects Deepfake Audio with 90% accuracy
Related Posts