Consumer Protection

New Home Scam

If you or someone you know is planning on buying a new home beware; there is a scam out there that is phishing for your information.

A notice has been placed on your door saying that you have missed a delivery; it seems benign enough. As a new home owner you are probably expecting dozens of new deliveries, items like: furniture, building materials, and online orders from new or rarely used providers. This particular scam takes advantage of those potential purchases by leaving a fake delivery notice on your door.

The notice itself says, “Sorry we missed you” then has your name, date, and address filled in at the top. On the bottom it says “Please Call*” and gives the telephone number 602-281-9885. Under the phone number it says “please provide your confirmation ID:” with a string of numbers beneath it. Then it gives the name of the company, usually something innocuous like Valley Delivery, Nu Home or Metro Delivery. None of these are actual delivery companies. Even though they may have a website that would make you believe otherwise.

The asterisk on the “Please Call*” refers to the information on the back, even though there is no asterisk on the back verbiage to help you make the connection. The information on the back is a vague statement of what the company is actually selling; your information. It states the following “Please be advised that, if you agree, any contact information you provide through calling the number listed on the front of this card may be used by Valley Delivery or any of its partners to contact you for marketing of relevant home services and product offers. For additional details please go to valley-delivery.com”

What the above phrase doesn’t say is that if you call the number listed Valley Delivery, or any of the other companies, will make the assumption that you willingly agreed to provide them with your information. Just by calling.

You may not have realized when you bought your home that your information (name and address) was recorded by your local county at your county recorder’s office. This has to be done in order for your house to close and is a legitimate process that protects you and the public. Your records are searchable and companies like Valley Delivery use this information to fill out the notice that is placed on your door. However, the county recorder does not provide phone numbers or email addresses. The confirmation number on your delivery notice allows the company to tie your name and address to your phone number when you call. It will also allow them to connect it with any other information you provide them, such as your email address.

Once they have your information they will start contacting you with any method available to them. They will greet you warmly and congratulate you on the purchase of your new home, then they will start trying to sell you whatever product they happen to be peddling. This can be anything they deem to be “relevant home services from their partners” according to their notice, which really means it could be anything. If you receive a call from a service be sure to verify they are a real company online. Many of these “companies” set up fake websites just like Valley-delivery.com so do not only look them up via their website but also verify them with the Better Business Bureau. For example if you look up Valley Delivery at the Better Business Bureau and you can see complaints about the scam above and see that they are a marketing company not a delivery service. They have also received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau have a warning for false advertising. 

Remember, if you receive a notice and you don’t’ recognize the company or something just seems off about it take the time to do some quick research. When you do use reliable sources, like the Better Business Bureau, to make sure something is legitimate. It may save you a lot of time and unnecessary frustration.

 

 

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