What To Do If Car Warranty Scammers Are Driving You Crazy
(DailyDig.com) – Have you ever answered a call from an unknown number only to hear an automated voice say it’s contacting you about an extended warranty for your car? Sometimes this may even be a real person on the other end. Don’t worry, millions of Americans have heard the same spiel.
These calls can be more than just annoying. In fact, they can be dangerous to you — not physically, but to your wallet and even your identity. So, what can be done about these robocalls?
What to Do First
Know that these calls exist for one of two reasons: they are successful scams, or they actually want to sell you an extended warranty. Given how common these irritants are, it may be difficult to know the difference between a legitimate phone call and a scam call. Chances are, if it contains an automated voice and lacks specifics about some indistinct insurance company, it’s a scam call.
If the caller asks for personal information, such as credit cards or a social security number, it’s a scam. If it were legitimate, they wouldn’t ask for such information over the phone. Another telltale sign is when they ask you to take action now, sometimes even in a threatening manner. While it’s true that salespeople can be pushy, they’ll never threaten you with arrest or other consequences. These calls typically originate from a number you won’t recognize, so it’s a good rule of thumb to not answer unknown numbers or give personal information over the phone.
How Do They Get Your Information?
You may wonder how these scammers even get your phone number to begin with. After all, you don’t visit shady sites or answer sketchy emails, and unfortunately, you don’t have to. Many scammers obtain phone numbers through legitimate means. Believe it or not, there are actually lists of phone numbers just for sale online.
In addition, many people unknowingly hit the “Terms and Conditions” box on data collecting sites, credit reporting companies, sweepstakes, competitions and contests, which allows them to sell people’s information.
Telemarketers and scammers can also obtain information from state-run organizations like the state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV). In New York, the DMV sells vehicle and driver license information via over-the-counter contract sales and pay-per-search transactions.
How to Stop Them
While scammers can effortlessly gain access to this information, it’s also simple to block them. Some elect to download robocall blockers such as RoboKiller to their phone, which allows users to block scam numbers and uses that information to prevent such future calls. In addition, you can add your name to the federal Do Not Call Registry (DNC). It’s free and simple. While being on this list may significantly reduce the number of sales calls you get, it can’t stop all of them, namely scam calls, as the DNC only thwarts telemarketers and sales calls.
If you suspect a call you received is a scam, don’t hesitate to contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and let them know. You can file a complaint, which may help put an end to at least that thief and potentially help the FCC combat scam callers in the future.
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