DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A new property warranty scam has popped up in Lackawanna County targeting homeowners.
Many homeowners have recently received letters resembling a final notice, implying an affiliation with the County Deeds Records office. However, Lackawanna County officials said it’s all a scam.
If an urgent notice showed up in the mail from a local county claiming a home warranty is about to expire, one would take notice.
Several Lackawanna County residents have taken notice of the awfully official-looking letter they received.
Turns out, it was not official at all.
“It says clearly on the envelope on the return part, that it’s coming from the county records office. It’s not, it has nothing to do with this office. It’s talking about a warranty for a property, we don’t do warranties on properties,” Recorder of Deeds in Lackawanna County, Evie Rafalko McNulty explained.
So, if it didn’t come from the county, who did it come from? The mailer does not say.
Eyewitness News called the number to find out in a recorded call.
The man who answered said he worked for “Home Warranty Direct,” and they sell home warranties.
Eyewitness News then called McNulty back who said she’s never worked with them.
“I’ve never heard of them, there’s no such thing as a home warranty in my office,” McNulty stated.
Patrick Devaney, a Dunmore resident and local realtor, received one of these warranty letters in the mail. Devaney said he instantly knew something wasn’t right.
“I don’t want to see older people fall prey to this, it was saying I had a warranty, my home warranty was expiring. I thought that was kind of funny since my home was built in 1917. I figured it might have expired a long time ago. I recognized it as a scam, it just didn’t look right,” Devaney said.
Devaney hopes people don’t spend money on a home warranty they don’t need.
“When you’re purchasing a home you can do it, you can get a warranty for appliances, and things like that in your home, but usually people don’t have warranties on their home, I don’t have one on my home,” Devaney continued.
If you have any questions about a suspicious letter, McNulty urges you to call the Lackawanna Recorder of Deeds Office.
“It’s there, it’s real, sometimes you think it’s just not going to happen here, well it is,” McNulty reiterated.
With plenty of scams out there, the recorder of deeds office is working on a new fraud detection called “Fraud guard.” Residents will enter their names and address.
“It will alert you by email if any transaction is put on record that belongs to this record or property number,” McNulty noted.
If you do purchase a home warranty, read the fine print. It may not cover exactly what you hope it will.
If you get a letter that seems suspicious in the mail, McNulty said you can go ahead and throw it out.