If you own a vehicle and a phone, you may get a call from a scammer posing as a representative of a car dealer, manufacturer, or insurance company to tell you your car warranty or insurance is about to expire. The call will include some sort of promotion to update your warranty or policy. During a call, you may be instructed to press a number or remain online and then be asked to provide personal information. Watch out! That is possibly a scam.
What makes this type of call fraud particularly difficult to discern is that scammers may have specific information about your specific car and warranty that they use to trick you into believing they are a real legitimate caller. The annoying calls usually happen throughout the day and can be quite disturbing. However, you should be careful when you actually answer them. These calls are usually carried out by scammers trying to get your personal information and/or money pretending to sell you an extended warranty on your car.
What is a Car Extended Warranty Phone Call and Why Am I Always Getting It?
Car extended warranty calls may sound different from caller to caller, but in general, they’re easy to identify. If you pick up the phone, you may hear an automatic message at the beginning of the call that your car’s warranty is about to expire. You will then be asked to push a button or stay online to speak with a representative. These people may be calling for two reasons. They may legitimately want to sell you a real extended car warranty, or they may be trying to defraud you and get your personal information for further scams.
A car extended warranty call may look like this:
We’ve been trying to reach you concerning your vehicle’s extended warranty. You should’ve received a notice in the mail about your car’s extended warranty eligibility. Since we’ve not gotten a response, we’re giving you a final courtesy call before we close out your file. Press 2 to be removed and placed on our do-not-call list. To speak to someone about possibly extending or reinstating your vehicle’s warranty, press 1 to speak with a warranty specialist.
Auto warranty scams were the most common phone scam in the U.S. as of mid-October and now account for more than 60 percent of all scam calls in the U.S., according to the call performance management cloud Hiya. That’s likely due to the doubling of calls from scammers as more Americans focus on protecting their vehicles at a time when car prices are skyrocketing.
How to Define a Car Extended Warranty Phone Call as a Spam Call?
Given the prevalence of these types of scam calls, it’s crucial to know if extended car warranty calls are scams. State motor vehicle records are public information. This means enterprising fraudsters can look up your car information online and target you if it looks like you own an old car. The recording sounds like a phone call from the dealer where you bought the car. This is almost certainly not the case. Dealers send automatic reminders for routine maintenance, usually by mail, but don’t call to extend your warranty years after you’ve driven out of the parking lot. The same goes for automakers. They simply won’t call to offer an offer to extend your factory warranty. This is an important point. Only the automaker can extend the warranty that comes with the car. Anything else is a service contract. In fact, when you get a spam call asking for an extended car warranty, there are other pretty obvious signs. You need to be vigilant when the following situations occur:
You Don’t Recognize the Phone Number.
You should pay attention to the phone number of incoming calls. If it’s from an area code you don’t recognize, it’s probably a scam. Scammers are smart, though, and they realize that people might not answer calls from other area codes. That’s why scammers may use phone numbers with local area codes. When you receive these calls, screen your caller ID to see what appears. According to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, legitimate telemarketers must display their phone number and the name and/or phone number of the company they represent. You should never call back an unknown number, especially if you think it’s possibly a scam call. If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, even if it’s local, a good rule of thumb is to not answer and let it go to voicemail. But you should bear in mind that scammers may try to get you to call them back, so don’t be fooled.
You are Asked to Provide Personal Information over the Phone Call.
If an automated message asks you to enter personal information before talking to someone, or if the person you’re talking to asks for your personal information like SSN, address, etc., the call may be a scam. If you are asked to provide your social security number, credit card number, bank account number, or other personal information, you should not provide it and hang up. There’s a reason why scammers want your personal information. They might target your bank account or credit card information to get a quick paycheck or other personal information to steal your identity. A legitimate company will never call you to verify your identity or provide sensitive personal information over the phone.
You are Urged to Take Immediate Action.
Another sign that a phone call is a scam is whether the person you’re talking to is pushy about selling. Nothing is more important than the need to complete or buy right away, and scammers almost always try to instill a sense of urgency in their victims. If you’re in a hurry to make a decision, especially ones involving money or personal information, it’s likely a scam.
The Caller Threatens You.
One of the biggest signs that an extended car warranty call is a scam is when the caller threatens you. You should never approach a scammer who threatens you over the phone. If you are threatened in any way, hang up. No legitimate organization conducts business in that way. Some scammers might say that organizations like the IRS will go after you if you don’t cooperate. Don’t worry – this will never actually happen. If they threaten to arrest you, rest assured, that the IRS will never call or send the police over.
What are These Scammers Aiming at?
First, you’ll hear a friendly-sounding recording that says your warranty may be at fault. Usually, it’s just a scammer’s guess, but not always. Warranty scammers are designed to lure you into contacting a field salesperson, who may take the bait further by sharing actual details about your car make and model.
Again, this information is public. Salespeople may only be interested in obtaining your personal information, such as your credit card number. Or he or she might actually be selling a service contract that could cost as much as $3,000.
How to Report a Car Extended Warranty Spam Call or Robocall?
If you have received extended warranty calls on your car that you suspect that these calls are a scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC about suspected scam calls. In addition to being fraudulent, these calls may violate telemarketing and robocalling rules. While the FCC does not award personal damages to consumers, your complaint may help them identify scammers and take appropriate action. In some cases, the FCC can issue warnings and impose fines on companies that violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
If you believe you have received a scam call, you can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.
Tips to Stop Getting a Car Extended Warranty Spam Call or Robocall?
Don’t Give Out Personal Information over the Phone.
First and foremost, do not give any personal information to any caller, such as social security numbers, credit card information, driver’s license numbers, or bank account information, unless you can show that you are dealing directly with a legitimate company that you do business with. Phone scammers are good at leading you to believe they work for a company you trust in any way. Don’t be fooled. Be extra careful!
Make sure to exercise as much caution as possible. These callers are very persuasive. If you have a Caller ID, you can screen incoming calls. Legitimate telemarketers must transmit or display their phone number and the name and/or phone number of the company they represent. The display must include a phone number that you can call during normal business hours to ask the company to stop calling you. You should be careful even if the numbers look real. Criminals may engage in Caller ID “spoofing” – deliberately falsifying the information transmitted to your Caller ID display to disguise their identity.
Block Scam Calls on Smartphone.
Blocking a specific number on your smartphone is also a good way to avoid the call, you can follow the following steps to make it:
- Download any mobile phone manager software and open the software.
- After entering, open the security protection, find the harassment blocker, and click to enter.
- After turning on the harassment blocking function, click the setting icon in the upper right corner to enter the setting interface of the mobile phone.
- On the setting interface, find the blacklist and click to enter.
- After turning on the blacklist function, click Add, then select Add by Region, and enter the province or area code.
On iPhone (iOS 12+)
- Tap Settings at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap Block/Allow List.
- Tap the Allow tab.
- Tap Add to Allow list and enter the range or number you wish to block moving forward.
- Tap “Allow“.
Use the Third-Party Blocking App RealCall
A call blocker app is also a good approach to prevent car warranty scam calls. RealCall app is a tool focusing on blocking spam calls and text messages for iOS and Android. You can use it to block all numbers starting with any sequence. The total number of phone numbers you can block is as many as 50 million based on the RealCall database. All the doubtful numbers will be automatically blocked for you. The app works fine. Spammers often use your area code or a nearby area code to spoof numbers so you can block all the area codes the spammers try and still get all the calls you want. Blocked calls will go straight to voicemail so that you won’t miss any important calls or messages. RealCall uses advanced blocking technology to help get ahead of spammers before you answer unknown calls. Additionally, RealCall constantly upgrades its blocking rules based on trending spam, neighbor spoofing, scams, pranks, telemarketers, and other unwanted text messages that are collected in real-time. RealCall provides every user with extra security and added protection from scammers while enjoying protection and peace.
Register National Do Not Call Lists.
If you want to go a step further, in addition to hanging up and blocking phone numbers, you can always join a national do not call list, which should help you minimize or eliminate scam calls. The National Do Not Call Registry is the federal government’s response to spam calls. This registry won’t stop established scammers from calling you, but it will stop unsolicited calls from “legitimate” businesses you don’t have an existing relationship with calling you with offers you didn’t ask for. You need to register to report scammers.
There are two ways to add your number to the Do Not Call List, and the registration is free. You can visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone you want to register. After registering your number at DoNotCall.gov, you will receive an email with a link that you need to click on within 72 hours to complete the registration.