Recently, the Iowa Attorney General warned people about an increase in scams involving extended car warranties, however it is important to note that this increase in extended car warranties is occurring around the entire country.  Many of these scams start with a  robocall.  Other times the scam begins with a postcard.  Often the caller even knows the make, model and year of your car.  They will tell you that your car’s warranty is about to expire, but that you can purchase an extended warranty that will provide tremendous benefits.  Unfortunately, the tremendous benefits are limited to the scammer that sells you a worthless contract.

Extended warranty scams have been with us for years.  Actually, they are not “extended” warranties at all because if you read the fine print you will notice that although the notice you may receive, often by postcard, looks official  it is not from either the car manufacturer who issued your original warranty or the car dealer who sold you the car.  The warranties themselves vary from scammer to scammer with some of the “extended” warranties being relatively worthless, but with all of them based on misrepresentations. In 2016 the FTC sent out more than four million dollars in refunds to  thousands of victims of an extended warranty scam perpetrated by Fereidoun “Fred” Khalilian and his company The Dolce Group Worldwide, LLC.  Using the name My Car Solutions, victims received robocalls luring them into paying for extended automobile warranties that, in truth, provided no coverage. In the case of Khalililian, his extended warranty scams were sold through illegal robocalls.  Whenever someone tries to sell you something through a robocall, you can be sure it is a scam because commercial calls initiated through robocalls are illegal.

If you are registered for the Do Not Call list and you do receive a call from a telemarketer, you can be confident that the call is a scam because no legitimate telemarketer would call you if you are enrolled in the Do Not Call list. It is also important to note that while telemarketing is not, in and of itself, illegal, commercial telemarketing through robocalls is always illegal.

TIPS

In regard to car warranties, it is always a good idea to check with your  local auto dealer as to what warranties cover your car. Never trust anything that comes to you by way of an illegal robocall or telemarketing call if you have enrolled in the federal Do Not Call List.  Never feel pressured to act immediately when someone calls you on the phone with an unsolicited offer and never give any personal information including your credit card over the phone to someone who calls you because you can never be sure who is actually calling.

Registering for the Do Not Call List is easy and free.  Merely go to http://www.donotcall.gov to register your phone number.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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