If you are a car owner, chances are that you have received vehicle warranty calls or know someone who has. Yes, an extended auto warranty can do wonders for your peace of mind. However, these warranties come at a price, and to make sure that your hard-earned money is spent on buying a legitimate coverage plan, you must steer clear of the scam warranty companies.
As a matter of concern, such fraudulent calls have reportedly been on the rise for the last several months. That being said, let’s take a look at certain numbers relevant to the issue in question and discuss how you can stay safe from getting conned by such fraudulent companies.
Auto Warranty Scam Calls: What You Need to Know
You may think that if such fraudulent calls are on the rise, why don’t people just ignore them? Well, it’s not that simple since these scammers have acquired extensive training to sound convincing and appear as legitimate sales representatives.
So, it all starts with you receiving a phone call from a scammer disguised as a sales representative of a car dealership or an insurance company. They would notify you that the warranty on your car would be expiring soon. During the call, you will also get presented with an offer to extend your vehicle’s coverage plan.
It’s common for such calls to start pre-recorded or automated. The robocall requires you to press certain numbers to proceed further, and may even ask you to submit personal details that could be all what the scammers need in order to steal from you.
Despite the call being automated, it’s not easy to discard it as a scam since the recording would read out specific information pertaining to your vehicle that would actually be true. How does that happen? Well, there are numerous companies that sell data of people living in a particular town or city.
Warranty Scam Robocalls by the Numbers
Now that you have been introduced to the concept of a warranty scam robocall, let’s discuss how it has been on the rise lately. Earlier last year when the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, the volume of such calls abruptly decreased. However, as the cities and states within the US started to open up, these calls made a return in an impactful manner.
Around 150 million warranty robocalls were reportedly made in June 2020 alone. If you think that was alarming, the number rose by nearly 60 million the following month.
Collectively, a whopping 9% increase in robocalls was observed over the month of June, amounting to 3.6 billion calls by the time July came around. It should be noted that these robocalls were not restricted to car warranty scams and included other types of scams too.
But it’s worth clarifying that by July, vehicle warranty calls left behind health-associated scam calls to take the top spot.
Fast forward to December 2020, the average number of robocalls per day dipped down to 124.8 million, amounting to nearly 3.9 billion robocalls for the month. Calls centered on warranty scams topped the said list with about 265 million warranty robocalls made to citizens of the USA.
While December’s numbers should be considered alarming, it should be noted that this number was down from the one recorded in November 2020 by approximately 2%.
Therefore, while we can confidently say that robocalls aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, a gradual decrease in their frequency every month might be the key to eradicating this fraudulent practice for good.
Helpful Tips to Steer Clear of Car Warranty Scams
If your car warranty is about to expire, you can expect to receive a warranty robocall. In order to save yourself from becoming a victim of this scam, take note of the following tips and tricks:
1. Refrain from Sharing Personal Details over the Phone
No matter how credible a warranty scammer sounds over the phone, never ever give away personal information. The personal information we are referring to includes all details that could help the scammers steal your money. Information such as social security number, credit card details, bank information, etc. should be kept highly confidential and never revealed to a stranger.
2. Use a Caller ID
If you use a caller ID, you can utilize its services to monitor incoming calls. It goes without saying that credible telemarketers are ordered to show their phone number or that of the company they belong to. They must provide a number that could be called back during the standard working hours on a weekday.
However, this method’s effectiveness is questionable since, over the years, scammers have learned the concept of caller ID “spoofing” to display incorrect details on your caller ID.
3. Reach Out to FCC
There is a fair chance that the vehicle warranty calls you are receiving are not in line with the defined telemarketing and robocall guidelines. By filing a complaint with the FCC, you can help the authorities discover scammers and take them down for good.
As per recent studies, warranty scam robocalls will not be going away anytime soon. In fact, over the last few months, the collective number of robocalls reached nearly 4 billion per month.
So, with scammers out there to take your money, it’s your responsibility to tread carefully and not fall into the trap of these fraudulent warranty provides, no matter how tempting their offers sound.