Death Related Debt Articles Scam Watch Out

Mother-Daughter Team Pretend to be from Credit Card Company and Call Widowers for Money Owed by Deceased Spouse

A mother and daughter team out of Niles Michigan, 44-year-old Bettye Turnbo of Niles and her daughter, 27-year-old Christina Turnbo were arrested after they had been using the obituaries to call the surviving spouses of dead seniors and telling them the dead spouse owed money and they had to pay up.

The Turnbo’s allegedly then asked for a blank check or another credit card to collect the bogus charges.

If you someone that has recently lost a spouse please tell them to not fall for this scam. Debts that were solely in the dead spouses name are not inherited or the responsibility to the survivor. Creditors must look to the estate for payment, if any.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

3 Comments

  • My daughter and I were never searching through obituaries looking for victims to scam. We were never calling people and saying their dead loved ones owed money. We were given what we thought to be a legitimate job at the beginning. We made no phone calls to said victims, that must have been done by the person we thought as being our new legitimate boss. We never met the man said to be our boss in person. He said he found us searching for employees on the internet, and reached us by phone, separately. He said we would be paying us by pay pal through our email address’. He said we would be meeting with people that would be expecting us, for he would have already talked with them and they would have a check that we were to bring to him at his office. We were never told where his office was at that time, and never did later learn where his office was. The man was the scammer, we were unsuspecting victims as well. Once we realized this man was up to something illegal and immoral we tried reaching him to give the information to the police, but we were unsuccessful. The man became invisible to us, he knew we were onto him and wanted no part in his plan to deceive anyone, especially elderly who had lost their loved ones. We respect the elderly, and the lifelong struggles that they have survived. We certainly would not disrespect them and steal from them. In our police interviews we separately told the officers about this man in best detail as we could. Obviously they (the police) nor much of the press believed that there was such a man. We were guilty without the presumption of being innocent. My own court appointed attorney didn’t believe me until just before sentencing, when he told the judge that he didn’t think I had the mental ability to put together such a horrific crime/scam. We were both found guilty at separate court dates, did jail time and have paid thousands of dollars in restitution, court costs, and fines. We were stupid enough to fall into this scam and feel responsible to repay the victims. But that is where it should stop. Calling us a mother / daughter fraud team is wrong and is defamation of character. Stop running pages like this, you don’t know what really happened…

  • My name is Bettye Turnbo I wrote a testimonial just seconds ago on this site, why don’t you publish it here for everyone to read ! You seem to have no problem with writing your oppinnion, now how about you post mine. Thanks for your time…

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