The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning people about a dramatic increase in extended car warranty scams being perpetrated through robocalls. Many of these robocalls appear to come from “Susie” of the “Vehicle Service Department.” 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 only one getting tremendous benefits is 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 that often comes through a 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.
More recently the FTC commenced legal action against American Vehicle Protection Corp. alleging they blasted consumers will illegal calls, made bogus claims on the extent of coverage, misrepresented their affiliations and “bilked consumers out of more than $6 million over the last four years.”
If you are registered for the Do Not Call list and you do receive a call from a telemarketer attempting to sell you an extended warranty, 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, such as the sale of these “extended warranties” through robocalls is always illegal.
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.
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