The Better Business Bureau is warning homeowners in New York State about a scam using phony mortgage notices. The BBB's scam tracker reports that deceptive solicitation letters are going out to homeowners that look like they are from the mortgage company.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Here's How Scammers Are Targeting NY Homeowners

Scammers are mailing out letters that look like they are from your mortgage company. These phony letters appear to be from the company’s “Home Warranty Department,” claiming that the home warranty must be renewed. The BBB says that if you receive a notice like this, look at it closely, one BBB Scam Tracker report noticed a tell-tale sign on the letter,

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.’

Another homeowner who used the BBB's scam tracker reporting tool said that it is designed to look like a check, but once you open the letter there is a ‘Renewal Fee Voucher’ for $199 inside that tries to dupe you into signing up for a warranty. The BBB warns,

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.

The scheme may actually provide a real product, but the companies are using deceptive techniques.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

How To Avoid Falling Victim To A Mortgage Warranty Scam

The BBB offers these three tips,

1. Contact your lender directly if you suspect any notice might be a scam.
2. Be aware that scammers often use high-pressure tactics, offers, and threats.
3. If you're shopping for a home warranty, do thorough research before signing a contract.

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Expert Tips for Avoiding Online Shopping Scams

In order to avoid a scammer getting the better of you, check out the following red flags to look out for as well as preventative measures to take from Dr. Skiba, AKA Dr. Fraud himself:

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