This has been driving me crazy:

People across the country are reporting telephone calls coming from the numbers 623-238-6228 and 408-587-2116. These calls claim that your car warranty is expiring, but they are really scam artists trying to steal your personal information and identity. Other numbers generating these spam identity theft calls include 202-552-1332, 702-520-1105, 609-948-0971 and 562-289-8136.

The calls always say roughly the same thing (often leaving automated voicemail), along the lines of:

“Your car warranty is expiring. We have notified you several times by mail.”

or

“Your car warranty has expired! Protect your loved ones with an extended warranty!”

Sometimes, instead of an expired warranty, they will also offer debt consolidation or refinance loans.

In any case, they are after your financial information, and your money.

I get about three calls on my cell phone a week. Unfortunately, having moved to a new area with a whole new set of area codes, I can’t yet tell if it’s not a local call. Not that it matters anyway because it’s easier to take the call than have the messages pile up in my answering machine. The only illegitimate calls I’ve ever gotten on my cell phone (except maybe a couple in Deseret, now that I think about it) are from these people. They say on their automachine that if you press two they will remove you from their service, but I think all that does is tell them that you answered and that they should try again.

I’m getting the debt consolidation calls on our landline, which is on the Do Not Call registry.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a whole lot that can be done. Obviously they’re not interested in the law. If you press “1” to speak to a representative and start asking questions about what company they represent and what state they’re operating out of they hang up. I’ve tried that three times and only once did I get an answer (the company name was so vague as to be functionally useless and I didn’t get a state).

Apparently the answer to the “state” question is Missouri. No big surprise, it turns out that their “product” is about as disingenuous as their sales tactics:

Chris explained that this was a one-time deal and if I said no, their computer system would “automatically delete” my files at the end of the phone call. That was clearly designed to put pressure on me to make an on-the-spot decision.

Now it was Corey’s turn to close the deal. He had good news. I “qualified” for full coverage: four years or 48,000 miles. And he was going to waive the vehicle inspection.

By activating my coverage today, I would get 20 percent off the retail price. With that discount, the cost of the four-year coverage was $3,110 or $777 a year. Corey offered a variety of payment plans and pointed out several times that this was not a contract. “You are not obligating yourself to anything,” he kept saying.

I can’t remember the last time I had a car that was even worth $3,110, much less worth paying that much just to have a warranty on.


Category: Market

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