Home Warranty Scams
Have you been caught off-guard by aggressive, misleading marketing tactics like the sample mailer below? Area residents and some ARC members have seen these in their mailboxes recently, but a little investigation revealed that US Home Guard is not likely the best choice for a reliable home warranty company. Read on to find out why, and how our call with US Home Guard went when we tried to inquire about warranty coverage.
Sample Letter from Home warranty group
Red Flags and a Strike-out
Our first red flag was that none of these supposed "final notices" were preceded by any other mail notices from this company. The second red flag was that our financial institution is identified as ARC CU - we are ARC FCU. A seemingly minor difference, but on documents from reputable companies this would be a glaring error. (The "F" designates us as a federally insured credit union, as opposed to a state-insured credit union.)

After a concerned phone call to the company (since we were now in the final days to take action on this "EXTREMELY URGENT & TIME SENSITIVE" offer) we learned that due to the age of our home, this was the only letter that was actually mailed to us. Strike one.

The company rep was a very pleasant young woman who asked for basic info on the home - year built, square footage, condition of the structure and appliances. She came up with a warranty contract price then offered to find discounts based on age, military status, etc. Then she got her supervisor on the phone to see if he could get any more discounts for me that she might not be able to. Strike two.

The supervisor was much more aggressive and pushy. He wanted to close the deal and take a payment immediately after offering a lower price. It was not until stating that my spouse had all the credit/debit cards and I only carried cash so I couldn't pay over the phone that he very irately agreed to put a temporary hold on the offer until lunch time when I could call them back with the card info from my spouse. Strike three.
Digging Deeper
After looking into the company's rating on the Better Business Bureau, our suspicions were confirmed. Warranty Global Group, listed at the bottom of the notice, does not fare well in BBB complaint filings. They have an average customer rating of 1.56 out of 5 on the BBB website. Click the link below to read through the nearly two dozen complaints in just three years. It should be enough to convince anyone to keep their distance.
Remember to be wary of unsolicited mail. Though many reputable companies use this tactic to reach customers, it's abused by scammers as well. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) defines mail fraud as letters that "look real but the promises are fake. A common warning sign is a letter asking you to send money or personal information now to get something valuable after you send the money or information." This home warranty notice certainly fits that definition.
A Trusted Resource
Always feel confident reaching out to your friends at ARC Federal Credit Union whenever you receive mail, email, texts, or calls that don't seem right. If you are concerned that your personal information may have been compromised, or if you just want the reassurance that you are dealing with us or one of our affiliate organizations, we are happy to provide that peace of mind. You can call or text us at (814)946-0857 or (814)296-2455. You can also email us at memberhelp@arcfcu.org. If you contact us outside of business hours, we will respond ASAP during normal business hours.

Above all, please remember to be very wary disclosing personal information or payment information to unknown companies or individuals. While we can file disputes to try and refund fraudulent charges, this is not a guaranteed method of returning stolen funds. Also, your personal information is irreplaceable and the struggle of dealing with a stolen identity is one we hope you never have to endure. The link below provides a short article on different types of scams and how to deal with them.