Can anything be worse than an unexpected car repair? The timing usually stinks. Being without a car, while it is repaired, is a nightmare; and the cost of working on today’s vehicles is expensive. However, I trust those life issues aren’t enough to get you to move on a surge of adrenaline and act without clear thought when a postcard or phone call comes claiming that your car warranty has expired.
Car warranty messages are of two varieties. First, let’s discuss calls which are clearly fraudulent. These calls will suggest that you provide a bank account number or credit card number and your car warranty will be immediately reinstated. Then crooks on the other end of the line take your financial information and defraud you.
The second type of call involves scam artists. Perhaps you’ve received a postcard that said, “Urgent Message!” or “Your Car Warranty Has Expired!” and the postcard directs the recipient to call a number. In most cases, a price is quoted and the consumer must give an immediate down-payment, by credit card, and the transaction must be finished in one phone call or the deal can never be completed. In other words, you must pay for the warranty without reading information describing coverage. When callers ask about coverage, the answers range from “Just like your old warranty,” “Just like the warranty when the car was new,” or “This warranty covers everything you’ll ever need.” Typically the cost is way out-of-line and the coverage is much less than expected.
Here are some helpful reminders:
- * Never give out personal financial information where a call has not been initiated by you;
- * Check out any car warranty company by calling your local car dealership or the Better Business Bureau;
- * Always get information in writing, and consult someone else about the provisions, before making a deal or signing paperwork;
- * Slow down! Don’t be hurried by the word, “Urgent!”
- * Seniors, especially, are being targeted by this scam. Let’s ‘Watch out!’ for one another.
Source: District Attorney Scott Storey, Office of Jefferson/Gilpin Counties, Colorado