KIM KOMANDO

Here’s why you get so many car warranty robocalls

Apr 11, 2021, 5:00 AM
(Unsplash Photo)...
(Unsplash Photo)
(Unsplash Photo)

The other day I called a friend. After a few rings, her old-school answering machine answered. “Hello,” I said. “I’m calling today with important news about your car’s extended warranty.”

She picked up immediately and yelled, “Stop calling me!” I had a good laugh, and it’s no wonder that set her off. Auto warranty scam calls have to be the most irritating and intrusive in the history of telemarketing.

You don’t have to put up with robocalls. You might even be able to get compensated for receiving robocalls. Here are five proven methods to make robocalls stop for good; No. 3 covers how to report robocalls and get compensated.

Scam texts are a real pain, too. Tap or click for the mistake landing you with even more junk text messages. I bet you’ve done this one thing before.

While your car’s warranty might have expired, these calls are deceptive and illegal. I have a few tips to help stop the flood.

How do they get away with this?

This scam isn’t new, but it has reached new heights. The Federal Communications Commission says auto-warranty robocalls were the top call complaint filed by consumers in 2020, and the trend is continuing this year.

You can bet these crooks are taking home a ton of money or they wouldn’t use this tactic.

While ignoring the National Do Not Call Registry, scammers are trying to sell you a $3,000 or so car warranty. They lead you to believe that you’re extending your current warranty. This is deceptive and, yes, illegal.

To make things even more frustrating, you can’t simply block the calls. The system spoofs area codes and numbers so that you’re never called by the same number twice.

If you wait for the operator and ask to be taken off the call list, it’s bad news. You have just verified to the robocaller that you’re a real person. That means even more calls.

What if you take the bait and buy a plan? You probably won’t realize it was all a scam until weeks or months later when you have a problem with your car and realize the warranty doesn’t exist.

What can you do?

Your best move when you realize it’s a robocall is to hang up the phone immediately. There is one thing that you should never do: press any numbers on your phone during the call.

Many of these calls are automated and ask you to press a button to continue or opt-out. Don’t do it. Again, this confirms you have a working number, and you will receive even more calls.

Here are a few more steps you can take.

● Protect personal information: Never hand over details like your Social Security number, credit card information, driver’s license number, or bank account information.

● Double check: If you believe you’re talking to someone from the dealership you purchased your vehicle, hang up and call back using a number you verify on the company’s website.

● Don’t press any buttons: Pressing buttons during a robocall could lead to more. Just hang up the phone.

● Screen incoming calls: If you have caller ID and don’t recognize an incoming call, don’t answer. If it’s important, they will leave a message and you can investigate the number to ensure it’s legit before calling them back. A quick Google search can tell you a lot.

● Be careful with all numbers: Be cautious even if a number appears authentic. Thieves are good at spoofing phone numbers to make it look like a company you can trust is calling.

● File a complaint: While it takes a few minutes, this can help officials track down scammers and end these dangerous calls. You can file a complaint with the FCC here. Or file a complaint with the FTC here.

Use your phone’s built-in features

One quick step you can do now is silence unknown callers. Instead of seeing a robocall come through, it is silenced and sent to your voicemail. You’ll see it in your recent calls list.

On iPhone:

Go to Settings > Phone.
Scroll down and select Silence Unknown Callers.

On Android:

● Go to Settings.

● Then, tap on Block numbers.

● Toggle the “Block unknown callers” button on to enable the feature.

Note: I recently took my mother to the emergency department. When the doctor in charge tried to call me to let me know how my mother was doing, he went straight to my voice mail. The major downside to “Silence Unknown Callers” is that it truly works, so use it guardedly.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Kim Komando

(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

Convert your old VHS tapes to digital in time for the holidays

Put away the movie projector and check out the best ways to preserve and share your home videos.
4 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

These are the top 5 signs you need a new laptop

Let’s look at the clear-cut signs buying a new laptop is in your immediate future.
10 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

Protect your privacy, cellphone number and email address

One way to cut down on the endless attempts to steal your money and info for sale to marketers is to limit who has your contact information. Here are some simple, free ways to do it.
11 days ago
(Public Domain Pictures Photo)...
Kim Komando

Remove these 5 dangerous tech gadgets from your home now

Some outdated tech gadgets are security and safety risks, too. Scan this list to make sure you and your family are safe.
13 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

How to scan a QR code on your smartphone without using any apps

Your smartphone is full of surprises. There’s an app if you want to use your phone as a magnifying glass or scanner. Tap or click here for hidden apps on your smartphone and how to find them. Third-party programs take up space on your phone, and many are redundant thanks to your phone’s built-in capabilities. […]
14 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

3 common mistakes made when installing security cameras

Security cameras give us peace of mind that our homes and valuables are safe when we're away. Here are steps you can take to protect the devices that protect you.
18 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Here’s why you get so many car warranty robocalls