Understand the background of vehicle warranty calls now before traveling
Have you recently received a sketchy vehicle warranty call stating that your car will soon be out of warranty and that you should extend it? If so, you are not the only one receiving such calls.
In fact, auto warranty scam calls have become the most frustrating and irritating in telemarketing history. You may even get these calls when your car is entirely out of warranty, or you may not even own a vehicle. Well, here is the truth: They are a scam!
How Do Car Warranty Scams Work?
Most vehicle warranty calls are straightforward. A scammer pretending to represent a legitimate company calls you to let you know that your car's warranty is about to expire. Then the scammer urges you to buy an extended warranty and asks for your personal and credit card information.
Many such calls are robocalls—that is, automated calls that churn through many people quickly and usually feature pre-recorded voices. Therefore can easily be detected.
On the other hand, some calls involve real people who may have information about your car and warranty. They may even know your name, your car's manufacturing year, and its model. Most of this information can be purchased online from data collection companies.
Sometimes these scammers like to send email addresses that look like they belong to an existing dealer.
How Do Scammers Get Your Phone Number?
If you have ever bought anything online, created an online profile, or submitted your personal information anywhere. The spam callers know how to get ahold of it. It's an unfortunate circumstance, but we do live in an age where almost nothing is personal anymore.
Also, there are many people out there looking to make money in evil ways.
Why is it Such a Huge Problem?
The thing that makes these calls even more frustrating is the fact that you cannot get rid of them quickly.
First of all, you cannot simply block the number. The system spoofs region codes and numbers so that you are never called by the same number twice.
If you ask the operator to take you off the list, it is even more bad news. They might tell you to press a number to be taken off their call list. That will sound like an attractive option. But, if you press any buttons, the callers get to know they have hit a "live" number, and then you will be their potential target.
What is worse is that they may resell your number over and over to other nuisances as they have established that you are a hot lead.
Signs of a Scam Call
What if you take the bait and buy a plan? You will probably not realize it was all a scam until months later. When you have a car problem and realize the warranty does not exist. Therefore, consider the following signs:
1. Usually the Same Way
It usually goes like this: You get a call saying your car warranty is about to expire but that you can pay a little extra to extend it. It might sound like it is coming from your dealership or another reputable company associated with it.
The caller might even have information about the year, make and model of your vehicle. Be wary of this.
2. Scammers Put Pressure
In most cases, scammers use high-pressure sales tactics to push owners to buy their service contracts. These promises include saying their offers are one-time-only or that it's easy to cancel if you change your mind.
The scammer may even threaten to delete your warranty or insurance files if you don't sign up for the contract. As a result, consumers get little time to research and decide, so they buy the deal.
3. Be Clever
When a telemarketer pressurizes you, it is a red flag. But to be sure, this vehicle warranty call is a scam; you should ask more about the plan. For instance, you can ask them to send you a printed version of the agreement's terms and conditions.
To this reasonable request, scammers usually pressurize you to make the down payment first. What they are trying to do is get your credit card info, charge you and never hear from you again.
4. Scammers Use the Trick of Spoofing
It is a technique, which makes the number on the screen appears as a familiar, local number. This will give you the impression that a neighbor or a local business is calling you, while the call can be coming from another side of the planet.
Callers go as far as to spoof the numbers of government agencies, major utility providers, or established businesses to get the people to pick up the phone.
What to Do?
1. Protect Personal Information
Never hand over details like your financial information, banking information, vehicle details, social security number or even your driver's license number.
2. Buy Warranty from the Car's Manufacturer
It is always better to directly purchase the factory version extended warranty from your car's manufacturer. Although this might be costly as compared to third-party telemarketers, at least you will stay rest assured that you can trust the provider.
3. Always Ask for Details
If things sound a bit suspicious when you are on the call with the person, it is best to hang up. However, if you are enticed to purchase, you should ask for more details. You can ask questions to be confident they are who they claim they are. As mentioned above in the article, you can ask for written details.
A scammer will usually avoid these. Typically, if the deal is too good to be true, it is also a huge sign that it is fake.
4. Never Press Buttons
As scammers ask you to press buttons to be taken off the calling list, always avoid this. Pressing buttons during a scam call could lead to more calls. Instead, just hang up the phone.
5. File a Complaint
While it takes a few minutes, this can help officials track down scammers and end these dangerous calls. You can contact FCC or FTC. They will definitely help you.
As car warranty scams have proved to a growing problem, it is essential to keep up with these trends. Due to an increase in ease of getting personal information online, scammers will continue to exploit consumers. It is best to know how these vehicle warranty calls operate to be able to avoid them.