There is never a good time for a vehicle scam, but when they come around during the holiday season, it leaves an (extra) bad taste in our mouths. Here in Colorado Springs and across the nation, neighbors work extra hard to save money to buy presents, purchase food for giant feasts, and use money for donations to places such as Springs Rescue Mission as they work to help those in need.
Meanwhile, scammers don’t care about these things and are always plotting out new ways to steal our hard-earned money. With that, allow us to introduce you to, or remind you, of the auto warranty scam. With this information, we are hopeful you and your loved ones will not fall victim.
According to many regional BBB offices, it is the season for auto warranties scams to be delivered to your mailbox. These mailers (you know the ones, they have a similar look to political mailers) are fake warranty ‘extension’ messages and describe said warranty scenarios in easy to ‘understand’ ways such as: ALERT! You don’t know your warranty has ended until you need it; then what will do you do?? These letters are full of false information and claim immediate action is needed to prevent expiration of your car’s warranty. Many news outlets across the US and several BBBs are warning us.
It is being reported by the FTC that this particular scam is costing America millions of dollars…MILLIONS!
The cadence in which the car warranty scam works is pretty simple actually. After a consumer receives the letter, they think it is real, so they call the business based on the information in the letter. They are then talked into purchasing an extended warranty. As you have probably guessed by now, the warranty turns out to be more worthless than the paper it was printed on.
Another item: Scammers often proactively call homes posing as a vehicle manufacturer attempting to get credit card info over the phone for a fake transaction – which can lead to ID theft and loss of money.
Here is what you can do if you are approached by this scammer. It is actually pretty easy:
If you or your family receives a letter or telephone call stating that your car’s warranty is about to expire, simply do a GOOGLE search so you can call to talk DIRECTLY with the vehicle’s manufacturer. Please never call the number that’s on any letter, even if it looks like it is from the manufacturer. There are many easy design tools out there that scammers can use to steal logos, use manufacturers colors, and more. They’ve become very good at stealing the likeness of vehicle manufacturer’s brands.
If they attempt to reach you on the phone, once again, be hesitant – take their info, hang up and then call the manufacturer to confirm information about your warranty.
A strong warranty for your vehicles are very important, but only if they are real.
If you are receiving these kinds of letters or phone calls, you can file a complaint with the FCC about any and all suspected scams. Also, to help spread the word even further, our friends at the Business Bureau of Southern Colorado would appreciate a call too! This way they can alert the general public and the media.
Also, if the Perkins Motors team can be of any assistance to you, we are happy to answer your warranty questions. Just call us! 855-832-3986 – you know the number!
Have great holiday season, and always be aware - even during the season that binds our families and neighbors so tightly because you never know when a scammer is lurking.
---Crystal Johnston, Director of Marketing.