Let’s be honest, any scam call is annoying and we would gladly spend our time with more pleasant matters. But one caller type that is a never-ending story is the person calling about your car warranty. You might not even have a car, but keep getting calls about your car warranty and insurance.
What do they want?
It’s a robocall classic and seems to be one of the most reported types of spam calls. Of course, you may have a car and you may have a warranty, but do you know the status? How to determine whether the call is an actual scam call or legitimate?
Calls about car warranties often come from call centers or directly as a robocall with no real person at the other end of the line. They impost your car dealer or insurance company and inform you about your expired warranty and try to sell you new ones. They don’t know your real warranty and they are not affiliated with your car dealer. The only goal is to make you feel anxious about your warranty expiration and to cover you quickly, they offer a new warranty contract with crucial conditions.
They idea is to get your personal details to set up a new contract. The tricky part is, while the automatic robocalls can be detected quite easy, some involve real people who even know your car details and insurance policy and can be very convincing.
A report showed that alone in August 2020 warranty scam calls were the most reported robocaller type in the US with about 211 million calls per month.
Bogus contact attempts about auto warranty is not just made via phone. Common ways for those people reaching out are:
- Phone calls
- Voice messages that ask you to return the call
- SMS texts with a prompt to reply
- Post cards that ask you to call back
Fraudulent callers may also use spoofed numbers to earn your trust when you look at the phone number. This means they have manipulated the caller ID, so you think it is a number calling from your area or a trustworthy number. Messages by mail or phone might indicate “final warning” or “priority high” to make you nervous and act upon the notice.
The aim is clear: they use your emotions and create a lot of pressure to get you to reply or make an inconsiderate move by agreeing to a contract. Generous promises and one-time offers are tactics they reply on. Once you gave them your data or contacted them back, they know they have you hooked and will continue the game.
Is it legitimate?
In July 2020 the supreme court upheld a law that ruled robocalls as illegal, but even though they are forbidden, it does not mean the fraudsters give in. Commercial calls remain illegal when they are happening through robocalls while telemarketing itself is not.
In 2016 the FTC refunded people who have been scammed with auto warranties through illegal robocalls with over $4 million. Back then the responsible person and his company have been accused of illegal robocalls under a fake auto dealer company name selling extended warranties. At this time one actually received a warranty. Refunds for the money have been impossible. Due to the court order, it was possible to refund 5,970 checks to the scammed people.
tellows users had it figured out
On www.tellows.com our devoted user base is eagerly reporting phone numbers that have bothered them in the past to warn others and keep them from calling again.
As Ro reported, an automatic voice is telling you to press a number to opt out. But pressing any number will suggest them, that you are interested and other calls will follow.
Luantik received a voicemail for her car warranty extension with a special offer. The user called back and verified the information knowing the data they had about the vehicle was already wrong.
Another user received a “final warning” and was asked to press a button on the phone to talk to a specialist.
Received a post card and want to check back? EricTheCarGuy got you covered
What can I do?
- Always be suspicious and ask about details of your car they already have to verify the details.
- If you are not sure whether you can trust the caller, you can ask them to send you a mail with the details. This way you have time to verify the conversation and contact your real car dealer or review your contract.
- Do not give out any personal information whether it is about you like address, credit card number, social security number or your car like insurance or license number.
- Report the number to the FCC or the FTC. They may also help you to get your money back in case you already fell for the scam.
- The BBB created a program to fight warranty and auto line problems. You can file a complaint to get your warranty dispute settled.
- Targeting seniors is a lucrative business for scammers since they are less suspicious on the phone, so we recommend you advise your family members and warn about these kind of calls.
- Protect yourself with the tellows app to be warned or block unwanted calls.
- If you have no car at all – well, you might want to wrap them up and waste some of their time leading them in the wrong direction, but you will know very fast, that the call cannot be trustworthy and you might as well put the phone down.
- You may also take initiative like Bryan Mills 😉 Credit goes to barriertees
Have you been contacted by a warranty fraudster? What did you do? Let us know in the comments and help your fellow tellows members!