If you’ve ever received a phone call from someone claiming that they have a special offer for you to extend your car’s warranty, you could be the next victim of a scam. These calls typically come from an unknown number and the groups behind them randomly call people in an effort to collect your credit card information to “purchase” this great offer on a car warranty. The FTC has been investigating auto warranty scammers around the world for several years and is making attempts to stop these otherwise illegal calls.
Recently, the FTC shut down Asia Pacific Telecom which reportedly made more than 2.6 billion random calls in less than 20 months. Asia Pacific Telecom has been ordered to pay $5.3 million in fines and defendants have been ordered to never engage in any type of telemarketing ever again.
How Expired Car Warranty Scams Work
Attorney generals in several states have received hundreds of complaints about annoying sales calls – that are possibly illegal – from these anonymous callers claiming that a consumer’s car warranty is about to expire. These calls are in violation of the Federal Do Not Call Registry and are often very persuasive sales pitches that end up selling a “warranty” that can’t even be used. Some callers are successful with capturing the person’s credit card information to go ahead and process the sale of a warranty right over the phone. These calls are impossible to trace and even when they are, typically end up going to a disconnected number.
In almost all cases, it is impossible to track where the call is coming from, who the caller is, and what company they allegedly work for. These calls are in violation of the law because the caller is contacting people without their written permission.
Avoiding Car Warranty Scams
If you receive calls from an unknown number and are being talked into buying a car warranty – or anything that you haven’t specifically requested more information for – you can simply hang up the phone and ignore further calls. The caller cannot legally talk to you or talk you into buying anything and it’s in your best interest not to share credit card or bank information over the phone. You can report the event to your state’s attorney general’s office so that they can log the complaint and possibly review it further. These calls can be difficult to trace and predict so avoiding them completely may be the only way to avoid being a victim of the next scam – unless the FTC manages to shut down the company behind it.