Warning about possible waterline scam

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

LOVELAND, OH (FOX19)  - Loveland resident James Gibson said Monday's mail made him take a second look.

"It more or less looks like a bill that I owe," Gibson said.

The letterhead looks legit. The company called "Home Service" asks for payment for maintenance and repair of Gibson's water line, but Gibson said something didn't feel right. Fortunately, he kept reading and started digging.

"We called the Warren County Water Department, and they said they didn't know anything about it," Gibson said.

And Gibson wasn't alone. County authorities from across the Tri-State said residents have been calling all week with the same question.

"When we look at our records, we have less than one-percent of customers per year experience a service line problem on the part they're responsible for," said Connie Roesch of Greater Cincinnati Water Works.

The misleading "bill" was actually a solicitation for insurance coverage from Home service.

"You have to be very, very careful," said Jocile Ehrlich, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau. "This is a solicitation. No government involved. You are not required to purchase this service."

Ehrlich also warns that you should always take a second look. The letter also shows the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) seal.

"This company is not accredited by the BBB," said Ehrlich. "This solicitation is being reviewed in Miami, Florida where the company is headquartered."

Gibson said he's trying to spread the word to make sure no one falls for what looks like a scam.

"It kind of concerns me because of a lot of the elderly people in the area, even some of the neighbors I talked to, they thought it was a bill," Gibson said. "They thought it was something they had to pay."

The Better Business Bureau said before you buy any service, you need to research the company and the plan.

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