Homeowners receiving deceptive letters about coverage
The Department of Commerce has recently warned Minnesotans about a scam in which fake home warranty companies have tried to register homeowners as customers. The scheme attempts to fleece homeowners by establishing claims of business relationships among themselves and owners’ mortgage companies.
A home warranty is a contract covering repairs and replacements on systems and appliances in a home, usually for a period of one year.
This particular scam uses bogus company names including Home Warranty Direct and Home Warranty Solutions and tells homeowners that their existing coverage may be expiring or has already expired. The letters may appear legitimate but are fraudulent attempts by criminals to steal credit card and bank account information. Though these letters try to make indirect connections by referencing real mortgage companies, they are often identified by their use of urgent pleas, bold lettering, poor grammar and overuse of exclamation marks.
The Department of Commerce encourages Minnesota homeowners who are interested in purchasing a home warranty with a legitimate company to do research. “We recommend asking for referrals, checking the warranty company’s website and understanding the coverage you need and possible warranty exclusions,” said Jacqueline Olson, Commerce’s Assistant Commissioner for Enforcement. “If you receive an unsolicited offer, definitely don’t give out your credit card or bank account information until you’re sure the offer is legitimate.”
In the Brainerd Lakes Area, Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Exclusive works directly with America’s Preferred Home Warranty to offer home buyers and sellers reasonable options to protect all sorts of items in their home purchases for one year.
If you receive a letter from Home Warranty Direct or Home Warranty Solutions, contact the Department of Commerce at [email protected] or 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602. To report suspected mail fraud, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.