Milwaukee, Wis. – If you get an unexpected letter from your mortgage company, look closely! According to numerous BBB Scam Tracker reports, the letters are a deceptive solicitation for a home warranty service. Here’s how to spot the scheme.
How this scam works
You receive a letter that appears to come from your mortgage provider. It’s allegedly from the company’s “Home Warranty Dept,” and claims that your home warranty must be renewed.
Before worrying, look closely at the letter and see what’s happening. One BBB Scam Tracker report noticed: “At the very bottom of the letter in small print is the comment, ‘Not all consumers have previous coverage. We are not affiliated with your current mortgage.’”
If you don’t read the fine print (or it doesn’t appear in the letter you receive), you’ll likely be concerned your home warranty has lapsed, and your mortgage is at risk. You won’t be dealing with your mortgage lender if you call the number and “renew” your warranty. Instead, you will have given money and personal information to a company that employs deceptive advertising tactics.
This scheme is similar to the extended car warranty calls. The product may be real, but you truly need something else. Also, you want to avoid doing business with a company that resorts to misleading sales techniques.
How to avoid similar scams:
- Go to the source. If you receive any correspondence about your mortgage or home warranty that you aren’t sure about, don’t use the contact information in the message. Instead, call your lender directly to inquire about the matter. Look up their contact information separately on your mortgage bill or search for your lender’s customer service line on their website.
- Watch out for high-pressure offers or threats. Don’t let scammers pressure you to act immediately, even if they say you could lose your home. If someone tries to use scare tactics, stop communicating with them and contact your bank or lender directly.
- Shopping for a home warranty? Check out this BBB Tip about home warranties for more advice.
For more information
Read about deed theft and home title fraud, two other scams that target homeowners. If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. By reporting your experience, you can help others avoid falling for the same scam.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2021, people turned to BBB more than 200 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 25,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.