The deal with car warranty scam calls (and how to stop them) (2024)

Your complete guide to understanding car warranty scam calls, how to protect yourself against them, and how to end auto warranty scam calls for good.

“We’ve been trying to reach you about your vehicle’s extended warranty.”

It’s the phone scam we all know and hate: car warranty scam calls. And it’s grown to epidemic proportions in the U.S.

Robocalls that try to convince you that you need an extended vehicle warranty or extra insurance coverage are so prevalent these days that parodies of these scams are all over social media.

In fact, according to RoboKiller data, extended car warranty robocalls are projected to become the biggest phone scam since we began monitoring robocall trends in 2017. It’s possible that every smartphone owner in the U.S. will have received more than one car warranty scam by the end of 2021.

While it’s fun to mock these robocalls, car warranty scam calls can be dangerous and threaten your personal and financial information.

With no end in sight, your best course of action is to get up to speed on vehicle warranty phone scams and understand how to put an end to the spam once and for all.

What are car warranty scam calls?

Car warranty scam calls — also known as vehicle warranty scams, auto warranty scam calls, and extended warranty robocalls — are when scammers try to contact you with a pitch to renew your vehicle’s warranty or insurance.

Most of these vehicle warranty scams come in the form of robocalls, which typically begin with a prerecorded message that says your vehicle’s warranty or insurance is up for renewal. You’ll hear a prompt to press a number to connect to a customer service team member.

A scammer masquerading as a customer service representative will then try to lure you into giving out personal or financial information using some kind of attractive offer like an “instant rebate” against your policy. Alternatively, they may threaten to close your file because you haven’t extended the warranty past the factory cut off.

If you hand over your information, they’ll charge you for a non-existent product or even steal your identity.

It’s worth repeating: Although these calls are often joked about, they are still malicious. This category of scam call is now twice the size of the next largest category (health insurance scams). According to 2020 FCC data, vehicle warranty robocalls ranked as the number one unwanted complaint, and they only keep escalating.

What protections does the law have against auto warranty scam calls?

The FTC and FCC have recognized the extent of the car warranty scam call issue, but they can’t keep up with the volume of these robocalls.

Scammers are already attempting to commit a crime by defrauding you, so they’re not likely to obey telemarketing laws. However, on the off-chance that you’re being contacted by a legitimate organization about your car warranty, the following would need to be true for the call to be legal:

  • You’ve given the business express written permission to make sales calls to you, or you’ve done business with the company in the past.
  • The telemarketer displays their phone number and the name and/or phone number of the company they represent.
  • They provide a number you can call during business hours to ask them to remove you from their call list.

If the calls are from legitimate companies, adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry can help.

However, the overwhelming majority of these calls are illegal scams.

What to do if you receive a car warranty scam call

Received what you think is a car warranty scam call? There’s no need to panic.

Equip yourself with these pointers and you can ensure your privacy remains protected.

The deal with car warranty scam calls (and how to stop them) (1)

Don’t

  • Engage with the call.
  • Follow prompts or press numbers, even if it claims that it will lead you to a real person or let you opt out. This just lets a spammer know there's a live person at your number they may be able to scam.
  • Stay on the line to speak with someone.
  • Click on any links in texts.
  • Share any personal or financial information, even if they already have information about you that seems legitimate.
  • Give out your social security number, credit card details, bank account details, drivers license number, or any other sensitive data.
  • Feel pressured to make a decision immediately.

The deal with car warranty scam calls (and how to stop them) (2)

Do

  • Hang up on suspicious calls, especially when they begin with a prerecorded message (and especially when they direct you to stay on the line).
  • Be wary of claims about one-time deals or offers that seem too good to be true.
  • Listen to your intuition if something feels off.
  • Conduct your own research on the person or organization contacting you to verify their legitimacy.
  • Report spam calls to the FTC.
  • Block numbers that send spam messages.
  • Prevent spam calls and texts with a robocall blocker like RoboKiller.

Protecting yourself from auto warranty scams requires some education and self-defense on your end. But it’s worth it to prevent a costly and time-consuming debacle.

What can you do on a personal level to keep yourself safe from vehicle warranty scammers?

  • Never purchase deals or services from a cold call. This is often the biggest tell that an extended warranty robocall is a scam.
  • Don’t click suspicious links in texts. It’s generally good practice to never click a link from a number you don’t recognize.
  • Be skeptical of caller ID. Scammers can easily spoof local area codes and legitimate company phone numbers.
  • Never give out personal or financial info. No legitimate auto warranty company will ask for personal or financial information over the phone on a cold call.

The best protection? Avoid car warranty scam calls entirely. Get a third-party call blocker like RoboKiller that uses powerful A.I. to protect you from unwanted calls and texts.

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You may also consider reporting the call to DoNotCall.gov. If you’ve lost money to a scam, or if you have information about a scammer, report it immediately to the FTC or the FCC. Be aware that the FCC doesn’t award individual damages; however, your input can help identify scammers and stop them from doing more damage.

You can also use your smartphone’s built-in call blocking features. Additionally, you can ask your mobile or landline phone provider if it offers call-blocking or call-labeling services. (Some are complementary or included in certain plans, but some may cost an additional fee.)

How to tell if an extended warranty robocall is a scam

If you receive a robocall that starts with “we’ve been trying to contact you about your vehicle’s extended warranty,” it’s almost certainly a scam.

However, scammers know we’re onto them, so they’ve found ways to make their calls seem more legitimate, like:

  • Caller ID spoofing, which can falsify both the name and phone number that you see. Spoofing makes it appear like the area code is local, or that a legitimate company is calling.
  • Adopting the names of reputable businesses, like local car dealerships or well-known car companies or insurers.
  • Making specific references to your vehicle make and model or warranty/insurance policy, in the hope of fooling you into providing more information.
  • Using recordings that say they’ve made repeated attempts to contact you by phone or mail and that if you don’t respond immediately, some harsh measures will be taken.

So how can you tell if an extended car warranty robocall is a scam? Watch out for these tell-tale signs:

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5 dead giveaways that an extended warranty robocall is a scam

  1. It’s a robocall, not a live call. If you’re directed to push buttons to be connected to “customer service,” that’s also likely a scam.
  2. It’s offering one-time offers or rebates, or promising special discounts for being a “loyal customer.” A good rule of thumb is if the call or text tries to sell you something, it’s probably a scam.
  3. The call is vague or confusing. Scammers want to confuse you into giving out personal information.
  4. The caller requests personal or financial information. Never give out private data on a cold call, and do thorough research and vet the caller if you think it may be legitimate.
  5. A message requests you to call back immediately or risk losing the deal. Generally, any unsolicited call prompting you to take immediate action is a scam.

How to stop receiving spam calls about car warranties

Your best bet for putting a stop to unwanted car warranty scam calls is to take matters into your own hands.

The most effective solution to ending auto warranty scam calls is to download a third-party robocall blocker app like RoboKiller. Recommended by the FTC, robocall blockers use call data or reports from users, the FTC, and other sources to predict which calls and texts are illegal or likely scams, then intercept those messages before they ever reach you.

RoboKiller is a spam call and text blocking app that is 99% effective at stopping unwanted calls and texts before they ever reach you, and it’s the only robocall blocker app that blocks spam calls and text messages using A.I. and machine learning.

Instead of just using consumer feedback or caller ID, RoboKiller identifies the caller or sender behind the message by leveraging a global database of more than 300 million unique scammer phone numbers. Untrustworthy numbers are added to a global blacklist of spam numbers, which is updated daily.

You can also use RoboKiller’s phone number lookup to see if the number you’re receiving a call from is a known vehicle warranty scammer.

How does RoboKiller stop car warranty phone scams?

RoboKiller helps you take back control of your privacy (and sanity) using A.I. and machine learning — which makes us more effective than any other service on the market.

Via our predictive spam call blocking algorithm, we proactively analyze an incoming spam call before it rings your phone, and identify whether it’s spam in less than a millisecond.

Our unique patented audio-fingerprinting technology creates a record of a robocaller’s unique audio recording and checks it in real-time against similar fingerprints in our global database. This means we can shut down any phone scam in seconds for all customers, even if scammers are spoofing their phone number.

Our hilarious spam-call-fighting Answer Bots — with voices like Ice T, Kermit the Frog, and Morgan Freeman — answer calls for you in the background and give scammers a taste of their own medicine by wasting their time.

It’s about time you stop getting car warranty scam calls. Take back control of your phone with RoboKiller and live life spam-call-free.

The deal with car warranty scam calls (and how to stop them) (2024)
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