Be wary of recent home warranty scams

(WTTV/WXIN) — Officials in several states are warning consumers about a recent rash of home warranty scams that can be confusing if you don’t know what to look for.

While home warranty scams have been around for while, state officials in Texas, Oregon and Maryland have received reports of a new round of scam calls targeting homeowners with bogus offers.

According to officials, the communication involves text messages that say your home warranty has expired, and you are urged to act quickly to renew it immediately. It may sound urgent, until you think, “Wait, do I even have a home warranty?”

A home warranty is not the same as homeowners insurance.  However, these crooks would like you to think you need one.

Before, considering that question, officials in states where this scam is active recommend being on the lookout for red flags. Look for a vague company name. In Texas, a letter came from the “Home Warranty division.” They may claim to be affiliated with your mortgage company, acting on their recommendation. They are definitely not connected to your mortgage company, but they are trying to seem legitimate.

You may also see they are registered in a state other than Indiana, which is another warning sign. When you search them online, you’re likely to see only negative reviews or no reviews at all.

Now, how about that question of whether you should have a home warranty?

It might be worth considering if you are in an older home. In general, home warranties cover your major home appliances and systems. If your HVAC system or refrigerator goes out, it would be covered by a home warranty. If you consider the age of your home, and how long you’ve been using the same appliances compared to how long they’re expected to last, it might be a good idea to look into a home warranty. It could potentially save you on some costly repairs or replacements.

Several popular websites like Forbes, Bankrate and Money have ranked the top home warranty companies out there.

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