KSL INVESTIGATES

Home warranty mailers urging homeowners to call are not from the county recorder

Jan 11, 2022, 6:09 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:23 pm

MILLCREEK, Utah — If an urgent notice showed up in the mail from your local county claiming a home warranty is about to expire, you would take notice. Well, a Millcreek woman took notice of the awfully official looking letter she received. Turns out, it was not official at all.

When Judy Barnett checked her mail last week, she was greeted by an urgent looking mailer.

“I thought it was from Salt Lake County,” she said.

And why wouldn’t she?

It says “COUNTY DEED RECORDS” in all caps at the top. And it includes some legalese: Final Notice it warns. Barnett is hereby “advised” to call an 888 number “before it’s too late” and her “expiration date expires.”

“So, there’s a deadline there. And then, it’s got my, what’s the other one — uninterrupted protection? I mean, I just think mechanical systems,” she said as showed me the letter. “Oh yeah, seems very official.”

But “official” it is not.

The KSL Investigators took Barnett’s letter to Salt Lake County recorder Rashelle Hobbs.

Salt Lake County Recorder Rashelle Hobbs tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt that the letter received is not affiliated with her office.

“I can see, Matt, how this can be misleading because it does look official,” Hobbs said.

“Did this come from you?” I asked.

“No,” she responded. “This is in no way associated with the county recorder’s office.”

So, who did it come from? The mailer does not say. I called the number to find out.

“My name is Matt Gephardt. I’m a reporter at KSL-TV in Salt Lake City.”

The man who answered says they sell home warranties.

“By putting county deed records at the top in big bold letters?” I asked. “Are you trying to trick people into calling thinking this is an important notice?”

“No, obviously we don’t trick anybody, sir,” he answered.

In the conversation, I was told the reason it says “County Deed Records” is because that is the public database where they get people’s information to send out the mailers.

“How often do people call your company thinking that they’re calling the county recorder?” I asked.

“Sir, how can I? How can I really help you?” he responded.

“By answering my questions is how you can help me. I’m asking how many times…”

“I don’t need to answer your questions, sir.”

“Well, I’m asking you to,” I repeated.

“The notice that you called in regard to is not for you, so in all actuality, I’m not required to answer any of your questions or continue the conversation.”

“I felt it was threatening,” Barnett said of the mailer.

Judy Barnett shows KSL’s Matt Gephardt an official looking mailer warning her that some sort of home warranty is about to expire.

She never called the company, but she did call a few friends — other seniors — who she says also got the notice.

“They were confused,” she said. “Some of them have called the number, so I reached out.”

Before hanging up on me, the company told me they do not “dupe anybody,” “scam anybody” or “trick anybody.” And allegations otherwise are “baseless and fact less.” They also stated that nobody ever calls in thinking they are calling their county recorder.

KSL Investigates

Credit card companies that value their customers may feel more inclined to wave fees or reduce rate...

Matt Gephardt

Lowering your credit card interest to save hundreds can be as easy as picking up the phone

If you need to borrow money for a home, a car, or even just groceries, the odds seem stacked against you. But lowering your credit card interest may be as easy as picking up the phone.

2 days ago

The Better Business Bureau has launched a new rescue line called the Scam Survivor Kit to help peop...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

BBB launches toolkit to help connect people hit by scams with resources to recovery

The Better Business Bureau has launched a new rescue line called the Scam Survivor Kit to help people who have been the victims of fraud.

3 days ago

An app called BusyKids allows children to gain experience with money before reality smacks them in ...

Matt Gephardt

Using fintech apps and debit cards to teach kids money fundamentals

An app called BusyKids allows children to gain experience with money before reality smacks them in the face. It's another option for payment alternatives.

4 days ago

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay m...

Matt Gephardt

How to save when higher energy costs have a third of Americans paying their power bills on credit

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay more to keep our homes livable in these sweltering summer days. And those rising energy costs also trickle down onto us in other ways, i.e. an uptick in the cost of groceries as stores also have to pay more to keep the building cool.

5 days ago

a woman puts cake into a man's mouth...

Annie Knox and Mike Headrick

When toxins come home from work and family members get sick, who’s responsible?

Safety measures like hard hats go a long way on the job. But what about hazards you take home with you? KSL investigates who’s responsible when loved ones get sick from toxins in the workplace.

5 days ago

Harold Clements is one of many T-Mobile customers who say they were told upon signing up for servic...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Roy man says mobile carrier has hiked his rate in spite of ‘price-lock’ guarantee

A Roy man is one of many T-Mobile customers who say they were told upon signing up for service that their phone rates would not go up. Ever. But when the rates did go up, Harold Clements decided to turn to KSL Investigators for help.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Home warranty mailers urging homeowners to call are not from the county recorder