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Find A Grave / scam

1 United States Review updated:

Find a grave.com photographed my 6 year old daughter's headstone and put it online. I was aghast when it popped up on my monitor. I have contacted the prosecutor and state police. The prosecutor says that I can file a civil complaint about this infringement against the guy who took and posted the picture. This person will not answer my emails and the police have located him. I feel this infringes on my privacy, copyright laws and personal property of mine being placed on the internet for advertising purposes. I'll write again to let everyone know the outcome of this.

Al
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Comments

  • Lo
      8th of Dec, 2010
    +4 Votes

    i love the site but can understand why you would be upset about strangers photographing your child's headstone and placing it online but i'm not understanding what you mean about advertising. it's a website where people can go to and pay respects to deceased loved ones. i feel that it should be up to the family of the deceased to upload photos but i think you'll have a hard time with your complaint. Find-a-grave aren't the one's that takes the photos. ordinary people like you and me volunteer to take the photos.

  • Al
      25th of Feb, 2018
    0 Votes

    @locdvegan you forgot to add that those ordinary ppl who are out there taking photos, some on privately owned cemeteries have not bothered to ask permission of the living..

  • El
      31st of Aug, 2018
    +1 Votes

    @Alpha Papa In my state all cemeteries are public domain.

  • Me
      14th of Sep, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Eliz Olmstead That is something that most people do not understand. Graves are in the public domain. Of course someone will always try to claim ownership of something but I do not think anyone can be sued for taking a photo of a headstone and posting it on [censored]. They can ask to have the photo removed and out of respect to the person complaining, the [censored] member should remove it. [censored] even states that is what should be done.

  • Ju
      23rd of Dec, 2010
    -6 Votes

    BEWARE of findagrave! They have a "C" rating with the Better Business Bureau and I have just filed my own complaint against them and wanted to share it with you here. They can delete all your memorials at their own whim!

    Findagrave is a website that catalogs obituaries and burial places for genealogists. One can create "memorials" for their loved ones and others and list their burial locations for future generations. Many people also use it as a hobby and put in endless hours of cataloging obituaries and burial locations of strangers so that other people might be able to find their loved ones. In the last few months I have logged a hundred or more hours creating memorials and had over 300. I cataloged my family, people I've worked with in show business and alumni from my high school. I also linked my high school alumni memorials to a website I run for my school. Yesterday an issue arose from a memorial I created for a famous actor that passed away. Their rules state that you are always to do a search before creating a memorial. If one already exists, you're to work with the creator of that memorial on any changes or additions. Another person came along and knowingly created a NEW memorial for the actor. I made it known to her and she defiantly would not take it down. So I contacted the administrators for help. They actually sided with her, even though she admitted to breaking the rules, and gave her credit for the memorial. After a couple of heated emails with administrator Robert Edwards (who goes by the screen name "bobnoxious") He sent me an email stating that he was banning me from the site. So I went in to my account and sure enough had no access. I looked up my mother's memorial and it was gone! Further research showed that ALL of my memorials were gone...they had all been deleted! All that work I spent entering these memorials was for nothing. And they weren't just punishing me, they were punishing all the people that would have used those memorials in the future. It also rendered all the links on my alumni website useless. I have since written to the owner of the website Jim Tipton a few times, with no response. Since then I've been doing online research and have found that I am not the only one that they have done this too. Wikipedia lists conflicts with this company stating: "allegedly arbitrary actions by administrators particularly with regard to "memorials" and "privacy" concerns of families and relations regarding recent deaths." The website pissedcustomer.com has quite a few detailed descriptions of problems not dissimilar to mine at: http://find-a-grave.pissedconsumer.com/. Another detailed description here: http://deathreferencedesk.org/2010/03/15/crowd-sourcing-genealogy-at-find-a-grave/. Look, if I broke rules, fine. But let me know and allow me to correct my ways; but don't just ban me and delete all my work! But I DID NOT break the rules. In fact it was because I showed them that I hadn't broken them and that they rewarded another member FOR breaking the rules, that they arbitrarily banned me and deleted all my work. They should not be allowed to do this to people. We are talking about special, precious and often emotional memories of our loved ones. This should NOT be taken lightly. You don't delete people's work that helps anyone who visits the site, simply because you have a beef with that person. You don't offer a service to catalog information, get bent out of shape and then resend the offer. If they can arbitrarily delete anyone's work at their whim, what's the point of anyone working on making their site better and more complete? Sure, it is a free site, but they take in money from website advertising that bombards you while you work, and charge $5 if you want special privileges on a memorial. Even if you pay the $5, the possibility of that memorial disappearing forever is very, very possible.

  • Ea
      30th of Nov, 2016
    0 Votes

    @july1962 It is beyond disgusting to have advertisements for tampons and beer on the gravesite memorial page of deceased people with a "pay five bucks if you want these ads to go away". It is also beyond disgusting that "gravers" can hoard mass memorial records as long as they are two generations removed from originating family members, even if they have absolutely no relation to the family at all. ### condones and supports and implements moral and ethical abuses of our deceased that would make anyone with any kind of conscience want to puke. In doing so they attract dirtbags who are the primary people they call gravers adding these records and then hoarding them or trading them like baseball cards for ratings. The only recourse an actual human being can take is to request if not beg for a record transfer and then pay five dollars per memorial to get rid of the humiliating advertisements so their loved ones are not being disrespected in such a deplorable manner. I shutter not only for what I see happening at ### but for how this opens the door for even worse violations to come with other such companies in the future. Our society has really stooped to a whole new level of disgrace. Very sad to see.

  • El
      6th of May, 2018
    0 Votes

    @july1962 Since then I've been doing online research and have found that I am not the only one that they have done this too. Wikipedia lists conflicts with this company stating: "allegedly arb itrary actions by administrators particularly with regard to "memorials" and "privacy" concerns of families and relations regarding recent deaths."

    I just visited Wikipedia.org Can find no such conflicts listed.

    This statement does not exist
    "allegedly arb itrary actions by administrators particularly with regard to "memorials" and "privacy" concerns of families and relations regarding recent deaths."

    HOW MANY OTHER LIES ARE YOU MAKING UP AND SPREADING?

    Manure for the garden perhaps???

  • Me
      2nd of Oct, 2018
    0 Votes

    @EarthGuardians Vermont What I find sad here is that [censored] takes seriously our complaints and I have had experiences where people did hoard memorials and would not transfer anyone to any requests for a transfer. I know a family member was transferred to me by [censored] when I asked for it and sent them emails showing I had requested it and was totally ignored. Come on! Be fair here. You complain about $5.00 when the website is totally free? You are obviously ignorant of the way things are done on there and if you don't like it, then don't use it. I hate it when someone wants everyone to be disgruntled just because you are disgruntled.

  • Gr
      2nd of Jan, 2011
    +2 Votes

    @ july1962: Move on already. I Googled your name and it's plain to see you ticked a website admin off and so what, ya got booted off A FREE SITE! Did you pay for sponsoring a memorial on Find A Grave? NO YOU DID NOT. I checked your cached December page (which can still be viewed). You spent NO $$$ on Find A Grave. Sure you volunteered 22 pictures. Big deal. Some members have hundreds and some thousands of volunteered photos taken. What is wrong with you? This isn't a situation for the BBB. You have only been on Find A Grave for five months and you begin bullying members who have been on for years, because they post a memorial page? You have some serious anger issues. It's just a website. Get a life! Put your time to better use and take care of your sister.

  • Al
      25th of Feb, 2018
    +2 Votes

    @GraverAlways meanwhile those gravers as you call them, trespass on private owned cemeteries and family plots to take photos without permission.. I posted a friends passing yesterday and a graver already has her "memorial" posted on findagrave with my exact words.. and of course wrong info...

  • Me
      14th of Sep, 2018
    +1 Votes

    @GraverAlways I call what they are doing the Newbie Syndrome. Many people like to be negative and they are bored.

  • Me
      2nd of Oct, 2018
    0 Votes

    @GraverAlways GraverAlways, some people are just cheap and then complain about the free too.

  • Un
      9th of Jan, 2011
    -7 Votes

    I'm sorry for your loss. Find-A-Grave is simply a site that allows many of us to research our ancestors and pay respect to our loved ones who are buried where we can't easily visit them. If she is buried in a public cemetery then you really don't have a complaint. It's possible that even a family member that lives far away requested a photo in order to pay their respects. Consider it a service to those who loved your daughter but can not visit her grave. It's meant to be a good thing. I'm sorry you feel otherwise.

    A to July1969. You keep copy and pasting this very same post all over the place. I deleted your post from my blogg because I feel that you probably brought this on yourself. You have to really screw up for Find-A-Grave to kick you off. They love their volunteers! You need to get a life and move on.

  • Di
      1st of Feb, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I was a member of find a grave for over 2 years and had submitted over 6, 000 memorials; all have been deleted. I never had any problems in all that time. I made the mistake of complaining to someone who was posting to Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama that she had duplicated some of my memorials. This person had posted over 16, 000 memorials and told me she was in charge of this cemetery, not to bother with posting anything. I think she had my memorials deleted and replaced with hers. I am not even going in to all the nasty emails that she sent me. It is a shame that someone like this has the power to do what she is doing. This happened a few times and I did complain to find a grave with no response. I don't think she wants anyone posting to this cemetery but her. This seems to be my only mistake. I have tried to call & speak with someone (801-671-4677) but have gotten no response. I have emailed them and gotten no reponse. This was a lot of work to just be deleted. If I did something wrong let me know and I will correct it. I am posting here to let everyone know this can happen to anyone who post memorials on find a grave; you have no rights at all. I will follow up with a complain to the BBB. Maybe if enough people complain something will change for the better.

  • Di
      2nd of Feb, 2011
    +13 Votes

    She has declared this cemetery as hers. I think it is sick. Montgomery is my hometown and I have lots of relatives in this cemetery. I just hope to warn people about find a grave. Be prepared to have someone else take over all your postings and take credit for your work. If anyone else is having trouble please contact me. I am contacting BBB in hopes that they can help me. I know there are lots of people complaining but we need to let our voices be heard and count for something.

  • Th
      5th of Feb, 2011
    Best Best Advice +13 Votes

    There are a bunch of nutjobs on findagrave. People who have nothing better to do. The admins are many of them. Please continue to report to the BBB.

  • Co
      21st of Feb, 2011
    +11 Votes

    A morbid person named June posted memorials on my wife and my brother. Then this same person left derogatory comments about me on those same memorials. I complained to Find a Grave and instead of removing the comments, they removed the memorials even though I am a member of Find a Grave. June sent me terse and very smart *** emails which I forwarded on to Find a Grave. I have discovered that the "field" reps (like June)who wander around cemeteries making pictures are all powerful in controlling individual memorials. Find a grave is a cruel scam site. All driven by money.

  • Al
      25th of Feb, 2018
    +1 Votes

    @Converce even worse the june volunteers enter into privately owned cemeteries to take their photos.. without the permission of the board of directors or owners of the plots. when asked to remove them they refuse..
    far worse than that are those gravers who haunt fb to steal from pages where someone tells classmates of a classmate death.. happened yesterday.. and worse the info was incorrect..

  • Ju
      19th of Mar, 2011
    +6 Votes

    UPDATE: Since I last posted in December and filing a better business bureau complaint against them, I finally heard from owner Jim Tipton and we talked it out. He's a very cocky guy and basiclly said: "It's a pet peeve of mine when people submit BBB complaints regarding Find A Grave. The BBB sees them as a waste of time because they are typically policy disputes, not customer/business disputes. If there's no exchange of money, they basically aren't interested. And, I, personally, certainly see BBB complaints as a waste of time. I let them sit on my desk for weeks or months and then I finally call and explain the situation and they dismiss them."

    He reinstated my account (partially) and all my memorials (so clearly nothing is ever truly deleted. I then canceled my BBB complaint.

    Since then, the problems all started up again. I submitted several famous memorials only to have them all shot down or given to someone else. Each time something would happen, I would carefully outline it and send it to Jim. No responses.

    Then out of the blue, I could no longer access parts of my account. I couldn't go in and change any of my preferences or see my profile page. It appears it was blocked. My memorials were all there, though. So I continued to work on them and wrote to Jim asking why. No response.

    I found I could do things, but had to go in backwards. I had to go to one of my memorials, and if I wanted to see my virtual cemeteries, click on that person's virtual cemetery and go in that way. I kept writing to Jim asking what was going on. No response.

    So I wrote to him and told him that I was reinstating the BBB complaint and was going to contact the US Copyright Office, the US Attorney General and several of the large media outlets showing how FindAGrave sits back and allows for the stealing of copyrighted materials to be posted on their site.

    No response.

    Then the other day I was on my high school alumni website (that I am the administrator of) and clicked on a classmates link to his memorial on FindAGrave. It came up as non existent. Crap! I started clicking on others, the same thing. So I checked my mom's memorial and sure enough, it was deleted.

    All of my memorials have been deleted AGAIN! Guess he finally got wind of my complaints!

    I've also written to Ancestry.com outlining all of this and requesting that they look into starting a similar service there. They wrote back and told me I'm not the first to complain to them about FindAGrave and that they would indeed check with their programmers and see about offering the "memorial" services.

    I know many of you LOVE this site and I did too. But there are too many egos there ruining things for others, and they can't be allowed to destroy hundreds of hours of someone's work (that deals with their loved ones) with the click of a computer key.

    I will now work tirelessly to see that either things change there, or the site is taken down and revived somewhere else. No one controls or destroys my work and gets away with it.

    Also, are you all aware that if you delete a photo from a memorial, it's never really deleted unless you specifically write them and ask that it be deleted from the server. Even then, can you really trust that they'll do it?

  • Me
      14th of Sep, 2018
    0 Votes

    @july1962 I have been on [censored] for almost 15 years now and I have several thousands of memorials. Famous memorials are rejected because of strict rules pertaining to them. I have never had one accepted and I am not going to report it to the BBB. I am sure that you have been labeled a trouble maker and nobody wants to do any favors for a trouble maker. I love [censored] and in spite of the complainers about it, I am not swayed by those who just want their own way. Have a good day if you are able to quit complaining long enough to enjoy it

  • Ju
      19th of Mar, 2011
    +7 Votes

    @graveralways While it is a free site to use, it is a commercial site making money off of the hundreds of hours of work that I put in there. They make money off of sponsored memorials, some of which were mine. I had 500-600 memorials deleted, the person above had 6000 memorials deleted. That's only two out of hundreds of people that have been scorned by this website. Clearly you're a findagrave cronie...and it doesn't matter how long someone is a member there. The owner and administrators can screw with you whether you've been there 15 years or 15 days.

  • Me
      24th of Feb, 2012
    -2 Votes

    Seriously??? Firstly, to those that have VOLUNTEERED to put in the time and energy into this website. There is NO EXCHANGE OF SERVICES. You didn't purchase anything. This place isn't exactly a "business". They have advertisers to be able to support the cost of the server, etc, but they aren't selling anything to YOU. It's a private website. You haven't walked into Kroger or Walmart and have been SCAMMED. Even so, THOSE businesses have the right to say who can and cannot be on their property (it IS private property). There ARE people that have caused problems at businesses and have been issues TRESPASS notices (they are not able to return=BANNED). This website is NOT owned by you.

    As far as pictures, etc go...well...you've decided to put someone in a cemetery where people can walk into it a good portion of the day. You cannot stop someone from taking a picture there just as you cannot stop someone from taking a picture of your HOUSE (provided they are not on your property). There is no crime taking pictures of headstones. And, let's be honest: when you DIE, you are public record. Ever check out a social security death record? EXACTLY. Even your SOCIAL number is public.

    Have you truly spent time on Ancestry.com? Give me your full name, state you live in (I don't need a city), and a year of birth...I bet I can pull up NUMEROUS previous addresses for you. Maybe even yearbook pictures...and things about your parents, grandparents, siblings that even YOU didn't even know.

    For me, I like to add cemetery records...especially the older ones. I feel TERRIBLE for those "forgotten" people who died and whose children, grandchildren, etc are probably gone, too, and they don't get visited. I like to pay my respects and I like to try and imagine what their lives were like. Were these people doctors? Lawyers? Farmers? These things added to ### are NOT done in spite. So GET OVER YOURSELF.


    Bottom line: if there is no crime, MOVE ON. Be pissed all you want and maybe next time you will consider cremating and keeping an urn at home for nobody else to see.

  • Me
      28th of May, 2017
    +2 Votes

    @meinmichigan you must be JOHN MEINERT

  • Me
      14th of Sep, 2018
    -1 Votes

    @meinmichigan Good for you! I think it is great that someone can visit their relatives for free on [censored] and not telling anyone that they will be glad when they get to the grave someday. Someday is now. I appreciated your post and at first it sounded just what I would have said too!

  • Mn
      3rd of Jul, 2012
    +6 Votes

    meinmichigan
    I find it amazing that you are able to empathize with people who have been dead for so long that nobody visits their graves anymore; yet you will tell a mother of a 6 year old child to get over herself for feeling violated. Maybe if you could try and imagine how it feels to have your child torn from you after only 6 years you might be able to empathize with a grief stricken mother just as easily as you can for the those who have been gone so long their graves are not being visited.

  • Tx
      29th of Jul, 2012
    +7 Votes

    I just want these crazy people to stay off my loved ones graves! What ever happened to respecting the dead?? I know standing on top of their resting place is not respect!!!

  • Me
      14th of Sep, 2018
    -1 Votes

    @txgrl005 Then change the laws because they are in the public domain. If you don't want a picture posted on [censored] then ask for it to be removed and quit trying to impose your ideas on everyone else.

  • Re
      21st of Aug, 2012
    +4 Votes

    I wish to heavens people would go to various cemeteries and post pictures, etc. of some of ancestors, because I am unable to travel around and do that. Some of you that are complaining, now, might be glad this information is on the Findagrave website in the future.

  • Me
      14th of Sep, 2018
    0 Votes

    @redhatterb71 I have been photographing whole cemeteries in my local area and I never get complaints for the time and effort I put out for doing it and I never send anyone a bill for stepping on snakes and falling in a hole, etc. Thanks for you comment here

  • Mn
      4th of Sep, 2012
    +4 Votes

    Redhatter please understand that no one cares about your genealogy! No one cares how you feel about this. The one thing I care about is how this woman feels about Jim Tipton exploiting someones deceased child for a buck.

  • Be
      2nd of May, 2013
    +9 Votes

    My experience with Find A Grave is that perfect strangers to anyone on earth can take pictures of headstones, walk through cemeteries, or post memorials from county records... and they never have to let a relative of the deceased have control over the memorial page created by them. They can make mistakes, post only years and not dates of days, and refuse to update biographies of your loved ones. BEWARE of anything to do with Find A Grave. Just let them stew in their own grave. If you go there, you will be insulted by the people who run the site, post on the site, and live on the site. It is how they feel important. Nothing more.

  • Ha
      22nd of May, 2013
    +4 Votes

    Well meinmichigan there were exchanges of services and it wasn't all free. The time I took to take pictures and post memorials was an exchange for being able to post the data. The gas I paid for and the wear and tear on my car was not free.

    Unfortunately this Jim Tipton sounds like he does whatever he wants, is a bit of a bully himself and encourages others to act like him. Find A Grave can be very helpful to genealogists and a great way to honor the deceased, but the way it is being run is downright shameful and unprofessional.

    Apparently some are worried about violations of privacy where the deceased are concerned. They see Find A Grave, genealogy websites and other things like them as violations and intrusions rather than as a way to honor the deceased. Only a few people that have ever lived ever show up in the history books. Without genealogy and websites like F.A.G. they are otherwise lost to history. However, I do think discretion should be used when posting a memorial to recently deceased children especially by people who were not related. On the other hand, a friend of mine found out he had an aunt he didn't know about by researching his ancestry. Apparently his father had a sister that died young and the family didn't talk about it. He was very much dismayed that he didn't learn about her until he was 60. So keeping quiet about it isn't always a good thing either.

  • Di
      8th of Sep, 2013
    +3 Votes

    Wow I think I just got booted off Findagrame.com without an issue. It just keeps saying not authorized the only thing I did was spell Gladys wrong I had almost 7, 000 memorials not for me. But because I know how happy I was when I found my family. Oh well I guess I just get a life.

  • Fi
      26th of Sep, 2013
    +7 Votes

    Just because someone is buried in a public cemetery doesn't mean it is appropriate to display his/her grave site on the internet. Some people, including me, feel it is an invasion of privacy to have what they feel is personal information posted freely on the internet. My family members are putting in their will that they do not want to have their grave sites posted on Findagrave.com or any other public website.

  • Sp
      26th of Feb, 2018
    +2 Votes

    @findagraveisbad Private information regarding the deceased? Apparently you haven't heard the oft repeated phrase by which everyone - in particular the legal profession - operates. It goes something like this: "The deceased have no expectation of privacy" and it's that way in all 57 of our United States of 'Merika. If someone living has heartburn over display of any public information that exists about anyone deceased (birth, death, obituary, writeup of any kind) get over it. You will get laughed out of court or anywhere else you think you have a claim.

    I find that F.A.G., like many other sites, passes along lots of genealogical information I'm seeking about close and not-so-close relatives, and even more distant people who are not related to me but are related to someone who is related to me, regardless of how far removed. Often we find that Uncle Bill's, Aunt Susie's, or Cousin Slim's personal information is in dispute by even the closest of family members. Nevertheless, it is helpful to be able to narrow the possibilities down if you don't have a clue otherwise, i.e. a good guess beats the heck out of none.

    Whether a site owner acts civilly, like an [censor], or somewhere between, I will continue to use whatever information I can locate via sites displaying the details I seek; I am thankful they exist. I, for one, can't devote the time or money required to travel to those far distant sites to learn of when someone roamed the earth. I suggest those using online sites be happy they are available and do the same. With a grain of salt at times.

    To me genealogy offers a way of honoring our forefathers. I realize some details are often glossed over for obvious reasons, e.g. why great-grandpa had so many wives, or who was the real daddy of so-and-so. Facts are facts, warts and all. Every family has its black sheep. My friends and colleagues, those are what make the spice of life. Learn to enjoy it.

  • Mi
      3rd of Oct, 2013
    -2 Votes

    why are you against something that honors the DEAD! I am sure your duaghter does not mind someone took a picture of her gravesite and now is honored to be among the dead. when you die and your family is no longer alive who will remember you!!! WHO! That is why Findagrave is there to honor the dead. If you go to cemeteries some cemeteries are so run down there no longer cemeteries and some have even been destoryed for the sake of building a mall! my god who the heck do you think you are!

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