Reghan Winkler: Tips for Automatic Warranty Scams

Do you own a car or truck? Do you have a phone number? email address? How about an address or how someone else can contact you?

If you answer “yes” to any of the above possibilities, you’re probably one in seven in ten US adults who encountered a car warranty extension scam during the last year. Call blocking service RoboKiller estimates that fraudsters will make nearly 13 billion such calls in 2021, accounting for 18% of all fraudulent calls.

Scammers are often said to follow the news and take advantage of the latest crises. Therefore, the recent surge in inflation is suitable for exploitation. They know that consumers are looking for ways to save and protect their hard-earned money.

With simple oil changes generally approaching $ 100, it’s not surprising that serious repairs can easily cost thousands of dollars, making your car’s warranty more attractive.

Car warranty scams have been around for years, but BBB has recently seen a surprising increase in calls and carry-on calls from consumers contacted regarding the purchase or extension of a car warranty.

Please note that there is a difference between the manufacturer’s extended warranty and what is offered by a legitimate third party. The warranty is the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with the new car and covers a specific time frame or mileage limit. Used cars may also come with a dealer warranty.

Third-party scammers provide not guarantees, but service contracts, which are basically a form of insurance. Authorized car dealers can also sell service contracts, and industry experts agree that factory-backed service contracts are the best.

There are honest and legitimate service contract providers. However, most notifications and phone calls come from scammers who want to sell expensive, non-existent, or inferior products, or worse, get credit cards and personal information.

Here are some tips to protect you from these scams:

• If you do not know the number, do not answer the phone. Let me go to voice mail.

• Fraudsters often use spoofing tools to display the name or number of their choice for the caller ID. So don’t assume that the phone is legal, as it will display the manufacturer name of the vehicle, “Vehicle Warranty Department” and so on.

• If you receive Robocall, it’s almost certainly a scam. Just hang up.

• To avoid unnecessary future calls, do not follow the instructions and press the phone number. The scammer does this to make sure you have reached a valid number that you can call again.

• When talking to someone, don’t put pressure on “limited time only” tricks. The scammer wants you to act first and think about the offer later.

• If you are told that your vehicle’s warranty is about to expire, check your dealer or owner’s manual to find out when the factory warranty will expire. Don’t trust annoying phone calls or mail.

• Check with the contract seller and the administrator of the company responsible for paying the bill before signing the Extended Warranty Service Agreement. Check your complaint against the company at BBB (419-223-7010) or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

• If possible, protect the manufacturer’s extended warranty. At the very least, I know I’m dealing with someone I can trust.

• Before signing anything, carefully read and understand exactly what is covered and what is not covered by the service contract.

• Finally, needless to say, we never provide personal or credit card information. Unless you know and absolutely know that you are dealing with a legitimate company that you already have a business relationship with.

Reghan Winkler is Executive Director of Better Business Bureau, which serves the Midwestern Ohio. BBB can be found on the internet

Reghan Winkler: Tips for Automatic Warranty Scams

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