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Buyers and veterans, beware of casket scam

Cashman-Hill Funeral Home

An organization calling itself U.S. Patriot Services may be unfairly targeting local elderly veterans and their families.

Sales representatives allegedly go door-to-door, claiming to be selling caskets and funeral urns at a lower cost than local funeral homes.

According to Scott Hill, owner of Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., "The price is exorbitantly higher than ours."

Hill also had an issue with U.S. Patriot Services claim that they buy the caskets and store them for you. That claim, Hill said, isn't necessarily a good one.

"(Typically) when you buy a casket, the money received goes into a trust, since a (stored) casket diminishes over time," he said.

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota's (BBB) press release states that, U.S. Patriot Services, lists addresses in Kansas City, Mo. and Rossmoor, Calif., and claims they are "Veterans Serving Veterans."

The company offers interment in national cemeteries free of charge as part of their sales package.

However, all U.S. veterans who are honorably discharged from the military are eligible for free internment in national cemeteries, meaning this is not a benefit U.S. Patriot Services or any company can offer.

Hill thinks the confusion for consumers comes when they try to sell the burial service at a national cemetery.

Another sales pitch used, according to Hill is, "They led people to believe that it included things such as funeral home services. If you look closely at the contract, it does not include these."

More information is available in the Jan. 5 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Jillian Dexheimer

Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.