Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's a horrible thought, you get a notice that says you're being evicted from your home. It happened to one Las Vegas homeowner, but she knew something didn't seem right.
"There's a whole lot of memories in this house," said Margaret Jones.
She loves her home on the northwest side of the valley. She and her husband, Edgar, bought the place nearly 20 years ago, "He gave this to me on my birthday. We moved here exactly on my birthday."
But Edgar passed away a year ago. Margaret said there are memories of her husband everywhere she turns. So it was upsetting when she got an email earlier this month, stating she had to move out by April 27.
"It made my stomach feel quivery," said Margaret.
The email reads, "If the property is not timely vacated we will have to apply sanctions against you." An attachment was included. But Margaret said an anti-virus warning popped up before she could click on it.
"It had it on there, it's not a secure site and it's not safe. And I knew then, not to open it," said Margaret.
Her latest mortgage statement shows she's current with her payments, and she even called to confirm that. Then she reached out to Contact 13, to warn others, "Don't open up those emails when you don't know who it is."
Michele Johnson of the Financial Guidance Center said Margaret's case is familiar, "I had received notification actually from HUD about a scam that was reported very similar to this."
In that case, the email attachment turned out to be a virus. Michele said if you get an email like this, look for several red flags.
First, is it addressed to you? Margaret's email doesn't include her name or address. A sign it could be a generic message sent to an unknown number of people.
Second, a notice to vacate your home won't be sent by email.
"It will be formal. It will likely be certified. They have to prove that they have notified you, and an email doesn't do that," said Michele.
Third, look closely at how it's written. Margaret's email is full of poor grammar. A sign that it's not from a legit lender. Margaret said it's an upsetting situation, "It's not a good feeling when you find out someone is telling you to vacate your property, and you know you've paid your mortgage."
Here's the Contact 13 bottom line: We replied to Margaret's email, and found it's from an address that's no longer in service. If you're being evicted from your home, the mortgage company has to notify you first. They can't just take action without advance warning.
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