Buyer Beware: Don't Fall for Warranty Scams
COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA ~~~~ AUGUST 11, 2022 (LSNews) Be wary of receiving calls or robocalls from unknown numbers reminding you that your warranty is about to expire. They create a sense of urgency because they say that the manufacturer will no longer cover your car in case of mechanical or performance issues. These calls are primarily scammers looking to get your personal information. Remember that the best car warranty companies never initiate a call and ask for your private data.
Exercise caution so you don’t fall prey to bogus warranty expiration notices. They’re cleverly disguised to look as if your car manufacturer made them. But in reality, these calls with aggressive sales pitches are best ignored because they’re scams that cheat you out of your money. Sadly, in 2021 alone, the AARP shared that fraudsters made 13 billion scam calls, translating to 7 in 10 adults receiving a car warranty scam call in the past 12 months. Learn more about this issue to avoid becoming a victim.
Scammers Take Advantage of Your Fears
Scammers take advantage of your fears by scaring you with words like this is your final notice. They say that in the near future, you will have to fork out a lot of money to replace a worn-out or broken part of your vehicle. Usually, these are robocalls or recorded voices pretending to be your dealer or automaker. They warn you that the car warranty coverage when you bought the vehicle is set to expire.
The robocaller’s spiel sounds highly believable because it states your correct car make and model. The caller then instructs you to press a specific key if interested. This takes you to a live customer service representative who adamantly draws up contact and asks for your complete private contact information and payment details like a credit card or bank account number.
But remember that your car make and mode details are public information. Anyone can easily purchase these details from a data-collection company or obtain them from your state’s motor vehicle record. If you fall prey to the scam, you are not alone.
How Do These Scams Work?
Scammers make this call to pitch and convince you to buy an extended auto warranty or a service contract. This contract will supposedly pay for future vehicle repairs, part replacements, and labor fees. But these calls don’t come from your car manufacturer or dealer. Instead, they could cheat you out of your money through the following:
- You send a down payment and never hear from the company, plus you have no additional information on how to reach them.
- After making full payment, you can no longer contact their given number because you have been blocked.
- Fraudsters use your private financial information to make various unauthorized purchases.
- Con artists will use your confidential information and steal your identity. They could also try hacking into your accounts with your information and personal details.
- They send a service contract that’s loaded with a lot of restrictions. With limited coverage, you can barely make a claim and recoup your initial investment.
Alternatively, some con artists use other means to get your personal data. Apart from calls, some con artists create fake snail mails or fraud emails to give you erroneous warranty expiration notices. They are well-designed to look like legitimate messages from the dealer or manufacturer. It even comes with a logo and a number that you can call.
Be cautious in replying to these letters, especially emails with URLs you can click. It could be a virus or phishing AI that could wipe out personal data from your computer. If you’re not sure if you’re being scammed, it’s better to call your usual customer service representative and verify any expiring warranties.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
To protect yourself, check your owner’s manual and speak with your car dealer about warranties. Beware of fast talkers who forcefully market service contracts by email or phone. Be sure to do the following:
- Don’t take calls from unknown numbers.
- Never provide personal and financial information unless you know the person you’re dealing with.
- Always be skeptical of anyone who reaches out to you, whether via phone, text, email, or snail mail.
Work with legitimate companies that offer extended service warranties if you are worried about future repairs for a car that is getting older. For the best outcomes, do your research and scout different offers. It’s imperative to work with a reputable company with good service history, track record, and list of clients. Read the fine print to know the scope of coverage and restrictions. And if anyone reaches out to offer an unsolicited warranty contract, it’s best to treat it as a scam. As always, it’s better safe than sorry.
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