If you’re like my boyfriend, the winter weather has your brain racking up all the repairs, maintenance, or upkeep you need to do, to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape for whatever blustery weather this season may bring.
Then, you receive an unexpected but timely call from your car dealer, manufacturer or insurer. They tell you that your auto warranty or insurance is about to expire and it may be a good idea to renew before the change in weather hits. You seize the moment and tell yourself, “What great timing!”…but is it!?
Surprise, but not really! Scammers once again have found a way to weasel their way into our lives to test how gullible we really are. Since January of this year, there has been a 72.79% growth in the auto warranty scam, with a 30.37% increase in just the past month alone!
The auto warranty scam comes in a variety of versions: automated or pre-recorded, pitching warranty expirations or extended warranty options. In reality, they all come down to one thing, making a request for your personal information to steal your identity or money.
Deciphering A Culprit
We don’t blame you, sometimes scammers are so good at their trade that they even go to the extent of giving specific information about your car and warranty which only means they are who they say they are, right? Wrong!
If ever you get a call similar to this scenario, it’s a good idea to CONFIRM that you are talking to a legitimate agent. Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, call your car dealer, manufacturer or insurer and verify that your warranty has expired or that they are offering an extended warranty opportunity.
Another red flag is if you’re asked to provide personal (i.e. social security number) or financial information (i.e. bank accounts, credit card numbers). Again, if you have not already verified that you are talking to a legitimate agent, NEVER give out your personal or financial information to an unexpected caller.
Lastly, SCREENING your calls is key! The FCC reports that, “Legitimate telemarketers are required to transmit or display their phone number and the name and/or the phone number of the company they’re representing. The display must include a phone number that you can call during regular business hours to ask that the company no longer call you.”
However, scammers are sneaky and unfortunately, SPOOF where their numbers are originating from to get a victim to pick up.
It’s important to raise awareness about the car warranty scam to help raise awareness and prevent others from becoming a possible victim. If you have been a victim or have received a call from a possible scammer, please report it to the FCC.