An example of a home warranty scam letter recently mailed to a homeowner in Wisconsin. | Photo: Fox Communities Credit Union

County officials are cautioning residents in McHenry County about a home warranty scam being mailed to homeowners where the scammers pretend to work for the county.

McHenry County Clerk and Recorder Joe Tirio said this week that one of his employees received a home warranty scam in their mail.

Tirio called the number on the letter, which warned that his employee’s home warranty was set to expire.

The operator that answered told Tirio that they worked for McHenry County.

The operator promptly hung up when Tirio informed him who he was.

“While many scam attempts are obvious – from outlandish threats of fines and imprisonment to letters and emails chock full of laughable spelling and grammar errors – there are others that aren’t as easy to detect,” Tirio said.

“County residents, especially seniors who are more often targeted, need to be on their guard against efforts to steal their money or their private information,” he said.

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Every type of scam, from phone calls to phony letters and fake look-alike websites, has red flags that can be easily caught, officials said.

County officials said the Better Business Bureau publishes guides on their website on how to spot various scams.

“While many scams are easily detectable – McHenry County government is not in the home warranty business – you can always call and ask if anyone suspicious is claiming that they are working on McHenry County’s behalf,” Tirio said.

The County Clerk and Recorder’s Office offers a free service called the Property Fraud Alert Program, which offers personal notification by email, text message or phone call if a document is recorded in their name.

Residents interested in signing up can visit www.propertyfraudalert.com or call 800-728-3858.