How to Deal with Extended Warranty Scam Calls

( – The spam comes by snail mail, email, phone, and text — so much that it’s now permeated jokes on comedy shows and memes on the internet.

It’s the dreaded car warranty spam: a spammer calls to let you know that your car warranty is allegedly expiring imminently, pressuring you to subscribe to a new warranty or an extension immediately. Even people who don’t own cars get hit with this type of spam. For those who do have cars with actual expiring warranties, it’s hard to tell whether a call about a warranty being up is real or fake.

These calls play on the emotion of fear: no one wants to be in a car that isn’t warrantied if it’s eligible to have one, especially if the car is newer or could have expensive parts to replace.

If you suspect criminals might be using traditional and newer, online means to trick you and commit crimes, you’re right. Many of the warranties they are trying to “sell” you are totally fake — it’s a scam!

So how do you prevent scam car warranty calls?

The Anatomy of a Car Warranty Spam Call

What exactly happens when someone tries to sell you a fake car warranty? If you’ve ever made the mistake of answering a spam car warranty call, you’ve probably gotten a robot on the other end of the line.

These robo-calls are pre-recorded voices, allowing spammers to cast a wide net, hoping you’ll get caught up in it.

Why are car warranties the subject of so much spam? In the United States, car prices are skyrocketing, and people have lots of additional fears due to inflation. They want to protect their investments — including their cars. It’s a fear-based strategy.

How Can You Detect a Car Warranty Scam?

What if you are interested in an actual car warranty and you get one of these scam calls? How do you know if it’s real?

Scams have a few things in common. These are the usual tells:

Scam calls are vague. Unlike a legit offer, they won’t specify your make and model, and they might not even ask for you by name. Instead, they’re eager to collect your¬†information. They might also get it incorrect, maybe offering to extend the warranty on your Jeep when in fact you own a Subaru (or no car at all). It’s all a game of numbers — they’re guessing the story will fit for someone.

Scammers will fish for personally identifiable info like your social security number and other personal information as well.

If you aren’t compliant and you’re speaking with a live person, they might try to scam or threaten you. They might threaten to report you to the IRS. Don’t fall for it.

How Do You Stop the Car Warranty Spam Calls?

If you’re ready to stop the car warranty spam for good, there are a few methods you can try. The first involves downloading an app to block robocalls. You can also pay attention to your phone when you get a call — some services might identify these as “spam.”

You can also submit a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission, or the FCC. Their job is to protect you from scams and spam via electronic communications methods.

Some mobile phone service providers also have different services (some cost extra) to limit these calls, meaning they get automatically denied.

Lastly, it’s always a community service to spread awareness about these calls, make sure people are aware of them, and encourage your friends, family, and community to safeguard their identities.

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