In early August, American Home Shield announced the “Summer of Giveaways Sweepstakes” to give away a $25,000 kitchen remodel. Once American Home Shield announced this legitimate contest, the “american home warranty” scam emails began. The home warranty email scam attempts to fleece victims through the use of fake emails and phishing websites. Although the contest ends on September 29, the emails will probably keep coming for some time.
This past week alone, I’ve received about four of these emails each day. These emails include messages such as “protect your home and your wallet” or “did you know your home is at risk” or “hassle free protection (home and wallet).” Of these emails, fully half have come from domains registered in Europe. What’s interesting is that these European domains appear to use website hosting provided by either Tucows or Enom.com. So, what this means to you, as a consumer, is that these companies are doing a great job of raking in money from scammers who are attempting to take it from your pocket.
Spot the home warranty scam
The home warranty scams aren’t terribly hard to spot. First off, American Home Shield, the ones operating the sweepstakes are not the ones sending those emails encouraging you to sign up for the contest. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check the sender’s email address in your email program. If you do check the address, be sure to not click the links.
From this point forward, you can also be sure any of these emails you receive are scams because the real contest does end on September 29.
What about future contest scams?
[mckenna float=”right”]It’s also highly likely that this email scam will be replaced by another contest scam in the near future. How will you be assured those aren’t a scam? Actually, the question should be phrased in reverse because the vast majority of “contest emails” received these days are fraudulent. Follow these three simple rules and you should be fine:
1) If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t trust it.
2) If you don’t know who sent it, don’t trust it.
3) If you think you can trust it, verify before you click. By verify, I don’t mean read the email. You can’t trust anything in the email. I mean go to a real, known website and verify the content. This step might take an extra minute or so, but could save you hundreds of dollars and countless hours of frustration.